Brandon Buckner, the editor-in-chief of The Southwestern Review, is a second-year graduate student in the English Department at UL. We recently got in touch with Brandon to learn more about The Southwestern Review and the role graduate students play in its publishing.
The English Department’s Thursday Night Reading Series (TNRS) features weekly readings of original poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, drama and experimental works from UL graduate students and faculty. TNRS is one of the English Department’s longest-standing traditions, and each year different co-hosts choose a venue and smoothly run the series with charm and wit.
This year co-hosts Kimberly Ann Southwick and Martin Fulmer have procured The Platform at Dat Dog in downtown Lafayette. While TNRS is an evening where faculty and students can set aside academic responsibilities, according to Southwick it is also “a space for UL Lafayette’s English Department students to really shine and for our faculty, fellow students, and anyone who happens to join us, to be there to witness it.”
But beyond providing students and faculty with a reprieve from responsibilities and an opportunity to share creative work, it is also a space for socialization and community building. Southwick sees the series as a vital way to build a larger community of writers and “bring what we do out from the walls of Griffin Hall and into the Lafayette community.”
This year, Southwick and Fulmer have given TNRS the power and vitality to help shape those bonds. Every week they organize an interactive “After Party” directly following the TNRS reading. Activities have included a Cajun spelling bee, literary trivia, and napkin stories. Visit the UL Lafayette Thursday Night Reading Series Facebook page for more information.
TNRS is at 7:00 pm on most Thursdays during the academic year.