Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eyedrum's Writers Exchange gives local writers a voice

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM

early meetings placed greater emphasis on the word “experimental.”
  • Credit: Eyedrum
  • Early meetings placed greater emphasis on the word “experimental.”
“Most surprising to me is the high quality of what I tend to hear. I'm stunned every month by the quality of the things read at Writers Exchange by folks I've never met,” says local writer/journalist Ed Hall. “I’ve worked in publishing and waded through slush pile submissions, so I have an idea of how much bad writing goes on in the world.”

Hall (Newsweek, AJC), is talking about Eyedrum’s literary forum, Writers Exchange, which he hosts every third Tuesday of the month. Part workshop/story time/open-ended experiment, WrEx started in July 2010 at Eyedrum's former MLK Jr. Drive location.

The free monthly event allows local writers the opportunity to read up to 10 minutes of their work and get 5 minutes worth of feedback from attendees.

“It lets writers get a sense of how others respond to their work, and lets audiences get a sense of what goes into writing,” says Hall. “Also, [we started it] to fulfill the mission of Eyedrum in bringing artistic excellence and creativity to the city of Atlanta.”

After Eyedrum closed the doors of its old location December 2010, WrEx made its rounds before finding refuge at The Goat Farm, a move which seems to have benefited the group's turn-out rate perhaps due to being added to the venue’s list of promoted events. (Last month they had 14 people.)

Started by Jeff Dahlgren—formerly of Atlanta Poets Group and the Eyedrum Literary Committee, which sponsor WrEx—early meetings placed greater emphasis on the word “experimental.”

On its progression, Hall says, “It’s a relative quality that, to me, exists in the eyes — and ears — of the audience. We also emphasized a free form structure.” He adds, “For me, Writers Exchange is a way to inject some community and interaction into writing, which tends to be a lonesome art form to practice.”

While meetings are usually held every third Tuesday of the month, August’s meet date has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Wed., Aug. 17 at 8 p.m., but will resume its regular schedule in September. Additionally, WrEx will open Eyedrum’s 2011 Experimental Writers Asylum presented in conjunction with the Decatur Book Festival, where the eight, late-night open slots will allow writers to share work of a more erotic, adult nature.

As of now, WrEx does not have an official website, but a full list of monthly meetings is currently available on the Goat Farm’s events page, as well as available updates on Eyedrum’s site. It is unknown as to whether WrEx will remain at the Goat Farm now that Eyedrum has announced the location of its new home in Castleberry HIll.

Writers Exchange. Wed., Aug. 17. 8 p.m. Free. The Goat Farm, 1200 Foster St. 404-845-6443 or 404-578-4430.

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