As part of a nationwide effort to raise money for hunger relief, the Harvard creative writing faculty read from works on personal identity Monday night in the Kirkland Junior Common Room.
Briggs-Copeland Lecturers of English and American Literature Jill McCorkle, Robert J. Cohen, Verlyn Klinkenborg and Henri Cole participated in the "Writers Harvest," one of over two hundred readings held simultaneously across the country, McCorkle said.
McCorkle said she hopes her reading, a selection from her novel, Tending to Virginia, will raise the issue of homelessness in America. The work concerned the displacement of a widow from her home to a nursing home.
"God ain't at this school [the nursing home]," McCorkle read, "and who can blame him."
Klinkenborg read from an essay entitled "Sense of Place."
"To me 'The Homeplace' has become an abstraction. The area in which I live is not the landscape, but the presence of other humans," he read.
Cole, the lone poet in the faculty, read from a poem, "40 Days and 40 Nights," in which he told the audience of his experience getting an HIV test. The poem did not reveal the test's result.
Cohen read his short story, "Adult Education," in which two characters attempted to define their existence.
The benefit raised about $100 for Share Our Strength, one of the nation's largest hunger relief organizations, McCorkle said.