Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Novelist R.M. Kinder “plays up” new book at short reading

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Kinder yodels while plucking the strings of her mandolin as an intrigued audience enjoys the author’s sign off to the event on Sept. 7.
Photo by Joe Isaacs.

Author Rose Marie Kinder delivered a reading from her most recent novel, “The Universe Playing Strings,” Thursday, Sept. 7.

She began her session by plucking away at a folk string instrument called a mountain dulcimer, filling the room with her warm presence before the reading. She was then introduced by assistant professor and University Press Director Dr. James Brubaker.

“It’s always exciting to bring writers here on campus where students can interact with them,” he said.

Kinder seemed very comfortable among the crowd of about 35 individuals, who ranged from toddlers to Southeast students to senior citizens, most likely because some of the audience members were close friends and family of the Southeast Missouri native.

Kinder began her session by speaking to the aspiring writers in attendance; she specifically called out sophomore Bridget Dixon, whom Kinder had recognized from a poetry reading earlier in the day. Dixon said the moment spoke to her.

“It gives you an empowering feeling, being surrounded by a group of people who think alike,” she said.

After imparting some advice to the young writers in the room, Kinder transitioned to reading from her novel. She began by introducing the audience to the main characters in the plot of the story; each excerpt she intended to read was a kind of summary of that character. As Kinder brought her book to the podium the room became dead silent and the entire audience was focused on the author reading her published work. The event that began with plucking ended with plucking; when Kinder was finished with her readings she insisted on playing just one more tune for the audience.

Southeast Missouri State University graduate and good friend of Brubaker, Stephen Furlong, received his master’s in English and was in attendance for the event. He said one of his favorite things is to hear writers read their own work.

“It was a treat to hear her read from her new book,” he said.