SALISBURY, MD---The tradition of the salon-an intimate gathering to appreciate the arts-is a concept that is shared by many cultures the world over.
Dr. Louise Detwiler of Salisbury University’s Department of Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies recently participated in a literary reading at the Harlem Arts Salon in the historic Grahm Court building in New York.
Hosted by best-selling author Michael Datcher, the salon focused on the creative nonfiction of contributors to his journal, The Truth About the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction.
Detwiler, whose short work “Make Believe” was accepted for publication in the Spring 2010 volume, read an excerpt from the creative memoir about her mother’s life. In all, the journal included 21 pieces from around the world, including narratives from South Africa, Sri Lanka, China, Canada, Great Britain and the United States.
The evening began with a musical performance by Masauko Chipembere, whose songs are slated to be featured in a South African music collection soon to be released by Putumayo World Music. In the readings that followed, each contributor was introduced according to his or her own definition of truth as requested by the editors beforehand.
The Truth About the Fact is a unique journal focusing on authors as witnesses who tell their nonfiction stories creatively. The journal is committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the world.
Holding a Ph.D in Hispanic literatures, Detwiler believes that the transformative power of the word, whether expressed in English, Spanish or any other language, is a force that should be celebrated as much for its creativity as for its utility.
“I cannot imagine a society wherein words are used merely as practical tools for utilitarian ends,” she said. “A society which does not hold dear its creative writers is a society which has gone astray. The salon tradition means setting aside time in our busy lives to affirm our own humanity.”
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