PLU Open Mic featuring Sonya Chung
Last week PLU enjoyed a sweet start as we soaked up the sun’s rays on the terrace with our special guest, Sonya Chung and her six students.
Round One began with Belleville resident James Jewell singing the Same ol’ Song with his trusty guitar and harmonica. We dashed through the first three virgin students: Sophie, obsessed with French cuisine, read her essay Finger Food, Jake told a story about Alice burying her cat and eating cat food (yum!), Chloe topped off the banana split with a sistine: God eats an apple. Students are always hungry, so we gave them a couple of musical morsels to keep them going: Josh’s sing-along Rocky Raccoon and then an original, The Man Shouts; Gino then sang Slow Blues in the Key of Moe. Back to Chung’s students, we heard Ziggy’s poems Company and W A I T I N G, Alex’s WWI commemoration, Each Slow Dusk and Ally’s Fiction. Then our special guest Sonya Chung read a sneak-preview from her upcoming novel, The Loved Ones. Check out the video:
Round Two was bought to us by: René and his Real Museum Experience, Yael’s stand-up about an immortal being, his landlord Ursula, followed by Anna posing the eternal question: Cats or Dogs? Cats of course, you silly girl. Claire also lost her PLU virginity with 3 transatlantic poems. Lisa Marie, deflowered herself with a Fabulous Fuck Duo. Moe read from his new collection, We Want Everything and even sold a copy or five! Finally, Sonya Chung gave us a few more lines from her upcoming novel, check out instagram to hear all about it.
Round Three came in for thee and thou with a huge shout out in freestyle rhyme. Forced to keep the beat neat like a hotel sheet we forced Ryan G to break beatnik ticks ’cause he don’t wanna be a Bourgeoisie. Conor from Ireland took us to a new town with some semi-improvised crimes from up in the north but still brought burning with both lyricism and wit. With some Pittsburgh style hipster bile flowing free from Moe’s melody we hit the climax of the rap battle ax and Lisa Marie, Me, Ed, Coner and a few other drunken Beings crammed down the throats of all vodka, bullshit and a free verse free for all. Peace out.
Sonya Chung is the author of the novels The Loved Ones (Relegation Books, 2016) and Long for This World (Scribner, 2010). She is a staff writer for the The Millions and founding editor of Bloom, and is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination, the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the Bronx Council on the Arts Writers’ Fellowship & Residency, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Sonya’s stories, reviews, & essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Crab Orchard Review, Tin House, The Huffington Post, Sonora Review, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, Short: An International Anthology, Conversations With James Salter, and BOMB Magazine, among others. Sonya has taught fiction writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, NYU, the College of Mount St. Vincent, and Columbia University. Currently she lives in New York City and teaches at Skidmore College.
Sonya loves wandering urban streets, growing vegetables, Paris, bourbon, good TV, cigars, three-minute poached eggs, butter, boots, motorcycles, and kindness. She is passionately DIY and prefers small living spaces to large ones. The book that made her want to be a writer was Annie Dillard’s A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. https://www.facebook.com/sonyachungauthor/
Photo: Robin Holland/robinholland.com