Klay holds public reading: “Bodies,” “Ten Clicks South;” Q & A

Sara Pisak, Asst. Opinion Editor

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A public reading by Phil Klay held in the Henry Student Ballroom at 7 p.m. on February 10, 2014 offered fans not affiliated with Wilkes University the opportunity to hear Phil Klay read two of his short stories: “Bodies” and “Ten Clicks South.”

Klay’s  narration adjusted with each story, filling the audience with varying accents of characters and emotional narrators. Guests were also afforded the opportunity to learn more about Klay himself during a question and answer portion of the evening.

Klay shared personal stories about his time serving as a Public Affairs Officer in Iraq. Klay regaled the audience with the reason behind his decision to join the military. The audience learned of a long standing tradition of service in Klay’s family, telling the audience of his father, who served in the Peace Corps and his mother, who worked to secure medical aid for others. Klay states that he was drawn by the phrase, “Be men for others” as a reason to join the Marine Corps.

Other spectators were concerned with Klay’s style and perception of writing. When discussing if he viewed his writing as a coping mechanism, Klay states that he is now “more connected to those who have not served” after completing Redeployment. Klay also answered inquires, about the use of profanity and shocking images throughout his text. Klay asserts, he does not push the boundaries too far. He states, “These aspects deserve to be thought about because people carry these things with them.” Klay continues, “These are for understanding but should not be used gratuitously.”

Klay concluded his reading by discussing his upcoming projects. Although he is not willing to divulge details, Klay promises he is authoring a new project as we speak. Those in attendance were also able to have Klay’s book signed before the reading officially came to a close, wrapping up Klay’s insightful day shared with students.

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