UVSC students had the privilege to hear from several authors at UVSC’s "Guest Author Reading Series," titled "Leave to Enter: Border Transgressions and Trespasses." The event, featuring authors Alex Caldiero, Scott Carrier and Charles Bowden, took place in the Student Center last Friday (Sept. 28) at noon. Each author was given time to present and discuss their writings to the audience.
Starting first was author Alex Caldiero, a resident of Orem. Poised with a book of his writings, Caldiero passionately read a series of poems, thoughts and often-times-humorous insights. Some were critical of issues within the United States, such as when Caldiero wondered at when corporations would take "human kindness, and market it as therapy." Also of interest to many in attendance was his combination of music and poetry, which gave further depth to his words. Well seasoned with culture-having lived in such places as Sicily and Brooklyn-Caldiero was very entertaining and animated as he shared his writings. He ended by saying, "Nothing but words divide us; nothing but words unite us," insight worth contemplating.
Next, author Scott Carrier discussed the chaotic situation in Burma. Carrier went into meticulous detail on the history of Burma over the last century, leading into its current state. According to Carrier, the Burmese people are in a state of protest against the government, as they have raised the price for gas and food considerably. The Burmese government, domineering rule, is apparently locking down the country to any outside communication. Carrier stated that on that morning (Friday, Sept. 28) we even stopped receiving the little information we had been getting about Burma through youtube. The situation is a concern, Carrier pointed out, because this could result in civilian deaths, as the government has killed hundreds of protesters before. Carrier’s message was that Burma is a country that has been forgotten about.
Charles Bowden was the last author to speak at the literary reading. Bowden, with his dry yet subtle voice, gave a stark and engaging presentation on the situation of the U.S./Mexico border. Drawing upon real life experience (as Bowden lives near the border), Bowden illustrated to the students what exactly it is to be a Mexican immigrant, and why so many Mexicans are immigrating to the United States. After hearing Bowden’s remarks, many in the audience couldn’t help but feel a great deal of empathy for Mexican immigrants. The problem, as he put it, is that Mexico is falling apart, and Mexicans are unable to stay in their home country. Several specific issues contributing to the immigration problem such as NAFTA and the drug war were also discussed. Bowden advocated traveling as a way to stay in touch with the world, and also added "You can’t live in the middle class forever." His message was that it is not wise to ignore real world issues such as this.
All three writers at the literary reading, although having significant differences in writing styles, seemed to have a common theme: righting the wrongs in the world. After listening to the authors’s worthy views, hopefully many UVSC students left the literary reading with a greater sense of awareness of the world around them, and a desire to see change for the better.