"I think a poem is done for me when I feel euphoric," said Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Schultz to Wadsworth Auditorium, filled with Geneseo's most dedicated writers Tuesday evening.
Schultz, having just come from a reception in Seneca Hall, gave a dynamic and emotional presentation of his work that he called "nostalgia night."
The Rochester native, just returning from his reading tour in Israel, decided to give readings in the Rochester area so that he could revisit the communities that inspired his work.
His award winning collection of poems, "Failure", was written about his father and largely took place in his hometown.
Kim Bilinski, area coordinator for Writers House, expressed great pride in her residents and was excited to see how much their enthusiasm impressed Schultz. In fact, she hopes that Schultz will come back to teach a seminar or series of workshops.
Because Schultz himself founded "The Writers Studio" in order to teach willing students the craft of writing, he could not stop raving about Writers House, saying, "Wow! I don't think I've absorbed this!"
Every conversation with students only seemed to increase his awe of the Seneca Hall domain. He was not only impressed by the students' "great questions," ambitions for a hall publication and dedication to the craft, but was even envious of the students' living arrangements, saying that when he was young, writers lived in "dumps."
Michelle Wilson, a freshman and member of Writers House, said that Schultz "was eloquent and personable, like he was having a conversation with the audience."
Sophomore and Writers House inhabitant Scott Doty said, "This sort of activity is exactly what Writers House is about. It was great to pick the brain of somebody who's found the success that we are all striving for."
Residents of Writers House and other students who attended the event had the unique opportunity to receive a one-on-one lesson from the Pulitzer Prize winning author.
The best advice Schultz was able to give was to "keep showing up."
"There is tremendous rejection in every writer's life," Schultz said. "But writing is cathartic." According to Schultz, writing this collection about his father made him feel better about emotions he had been holding in for years. "Once I started writing, it all came quickly to me," he said.
"The great thing about this event is it will give students the opportunity to interact with an author in an informal setting," said Bilinski. "Similarly, Writers House residents will have the chance to host someone in their very own home. This is something we intend to continue with other writers, so that the residents get the chance to meet many diverse authors who can help them to foster their own writing skills and interests."
With positive reactions from both students and presenters, Phillip Schultz is just the beginning; more readings and workshops are sure to be in Writers House's future.