Arts and Entertainment Editor
Rhode Island College recently welcomed back Dr. Dionne Irving-Bremyer, an alumna of the college who graduated in 2005 with a master’s degree in creative writing. During her visit on April 5, Irving-Bremyer spoke with classes in the English department and read from her second book, “The Islands,” a collection of short stories centered around the lives of immigrants and descendants of immigrants.
Their stories told in Irving-Bremyer’s book are set during different time periods and in different locations. Even though their lives have them separated, they are connected by their emotional displacement and their disconnected feelings.
After both a faculty and student introduction, Irving-Bremyer began reading from her short story collection. During her reading she presented the first short story from her book, “Florida lives,” which depicts a couple after newly moving into a house in Florida. The beautiful prose, stunning imagery and sense of comedy are present throughout her work. The precision and neatness of the narrator’s lifestyle is starkly contrasted by the perceived livelihood of the neighbors. Taking a new twist on perception and offering a hint of comedy, Irving-Bremyer paints a vivid picture with her prose.
As she presented, the room went silent as everyone was listening to her work. After her reading, Irving-Bremyer took questions from the audience. These questions ranged from her writing strategy to her sources of inspiration for her work, to the teaching process and how she learned from professors here at RIC.
It was truly wonderful to have been there during her presentation. It isn’t very often we get to have a visiting author on campus who was also at one point a student here. Her work and successful career are truly inspirational for other students striving towards a similar goal.
Irving-Bremyer currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program and the Initiative on Race and Resilience at the University of Notre Dame. Her work also focuses on climate change and how the changes and destruction of the Earth’s current landscape will affect and erase cultures.