For a second consecutive year, original works from The Telling Room (https://www.tellingroom.org/
), a non-profit writing center in Portland, Maine, were selected as part of Tilton School’s summer reading program. To kickoff the 2017-18 school year, three student-authors, Abass Ali, Mahnaz Seddqi, and Siri Pierce read their pieces from the anthology Sparks and hosted an open discussion about writing and publishing processes in the Fred Smart Chapel.
Darren Redman, Tilton School English Department Chair, began the evening by sharing how he came across this unique place that supports young writers. He reminisced, “The summer before I left for a job overseas three years ago, I meandered down the cobblestone streets of Portland, Maine’s old port, browsing the shops and smelling the ocean I would miss for the next nine months. Venturing into one of my favorite bookstores, I found The Story I Want to Tell: Explorations in the Art of Writing. Given I was about to embark upon a great adventure, the stuff of which stories are written, I bought the anthology. The collection of student and professional pieces held my attention for much of the fourteen-hour direct flight from Newark to Mumbai.”
When he took over as Department Chair, Redman established a working relationship with The Telling Room, creating opportunities for Tilton School students to tell their own stories in the process. He and the other members of the English department began collecting student work in hopes of publishing a TS anthology. Molly McGrath, Director of Publications at The Telling Room, has been instrumental in supporting these efforts. She brought Ali, Seddqi, and Pierce to read for this 2017 opening occasion. The Three Sparks: “Fighting the Fight,” “I Did Not Nod,” and “Plastic Palaces” remain on the Tilton School website (https://www.tiltonschool.org/page/admissions/enrollment-essentials
) with The Telling Room’s permission and blessing.
After their readings Ali, Seddqi, and Pierce took questions from the audience and later held conversations with interested members of Ram Nation. Additional Telling Room texts were purchased and will remain as part of a TS writing reference library. The Tilton School community continues to reach out beyond the hill to see what sparks may fly.