Student: Pearl Williams
Mentor: Ned Smyth
Faculty: Kenneth Sacks
Consultant: Shelby Raebeck
In the late summer, I made the decision to address my father's
absence in my life. To interact with, communicate with, and learn
about a man who I had not seen in over three years, or really
spent time with in nine or ten. My father occupied a weird limbo
space in my mind, somewhere between stranger and relative. I chose
to engage him in a series of conversations in which we discussed
anything from his childhood, to lost loves, to stories about his
distant and recent past. My product, Johnny Rock, is a series of
writings about my father, myself, our relationship, or lack
thereof. I have written pieces that fall under the umbrella of
"creative nonfiction," some in his voice, some in my own. One of
my main goals of this project was to get to know the guy sitting
across from me as much as I could, not as a father, but as a man.
Johnny Rock (Complete PDF)
Reading Night Video
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage,
Neruda, Pablo. Memoirs. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977.
O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
Shōnagon, Sei, and Meredith McKinney. "Hateful Things." The Pillow
Book. London: Penguin, 2006. Print.