Arts@UNH is a program that showcases talented students and faculty, as well as professionals from the local community and around the world, all with much to teach about the arts that they love.
Viswanathan is an Indian-born writer who has lived and worked all over the world, but currently lives and teaches in Houston. She treated the audience to a reading of her short story “Cool Wedding,” which she read entirely in an Indian accent.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, in the UNH Bookstore, Professor Dowd of the English Department introduced two such artists to an audience of students, faculty and staff. The two women, Latha Viswanathan and Cynthia Arrieu-King, read some of their own work and took time to answer a variety of questions.
Viswanathan is an Indian-born writer who has lived and worked all over the world, but currently lives and teaches in Houston. She treated the audience to a reading of her short story “Cool Wedding,” which she read entirely in an Indian accent. When asked about what inspires her work, she answered “other writers…and bad writers.”
She then expanded on that comment, and added that she came relatively late to writing, starting as an adult after seeing enough in her travels to give her what she felt was enough “richness” and “pain” that she could comfortably write. Viswanathan has written a book of short stories called Lingering Tide.
Cynthia Arrieu-King took a different approach to her presentation altogether. She read several selections of her poetry interjected with bits of prose. While Viswanathan’s story was lighthearted, Arrieu-King’s selections were of a darker tone.
When asked about her style of writing, she spoke about how she considered her writing as being about difference, not about race. In response to a question about her influences, she answered that everything inspires her, that “ideas are really sticky and things collect to them.”
Arrieu-King is an assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton College and has written a book titled People are Tiny in Paintings of China.
The next Arts@UNH event will be a poetry reading by Phil Memmer and M. Scott Douglass on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the UNH Bookstore