Hoping to escape a dark and chilly night, students huddled toward the glow of The Gund on Nov. 9 for Late Night, hosted by campus literary organizations Persimmons, Sunset Press and HIKA. Within the warmth of the glass walls, students grabbed pastries in the lobby and chatted as they perused a selection of stickers and magazines, picking out materials with which to decorate the notebooks provided.
Students spent the first hour of the event relaxing with the soothing music of a jazz quartet. As each song finished, visitors took a pause from cutting and arranging decorations on their notebooks to applaud the performance.
By the time the first hour of crafting came to a close, students had found space to sit and talk on the stairs up to the gallery, some looking over the crowd from behind the railing above. After the quartet played the requested “one more song,” visitors made their way up the stairs to The Gund’s exhibition of Christine Sun Kim: Oh Me Oh My for the second part of the evening: the reading. Students representing the host organizations shared the funny and the personal, presenting their literary labor to a hushed audience before returning to their seat in a burst of applause. Writers shared everything from poems expressing family trauma to comedic laments over boiled potatoes.
“This Late Night event was a lot of fun to plan and set up!” Phoebe Houser ’24 wrote in a message to the Collegian. Houser works as a Gund Associate with the Community Events/Digital Stories Team, which organizes Late Night and other events that bring The Gund and Kenyon student organizations together throughout the semester. “We had a really incredible turnout for the event.”
Houser is also co-editor in chief of HIKA, whose four contributors read poems that will be published in its 2023-2024 edition and fall preview. “It was a lot of fun to see how the work HIKA is putting out interacts with the incredible works in Persimmons and Sunset.”
“I loved how collaborative this event was, having representation from so many literary organizations on campus and interacting with the gallery space during the reading,” Houser said. “I’m looking forward to seeing more readings like this in the future!”