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The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

Reading at the Nick Ft. Elvis and Biz Markie

Reading+at+the+Nick+Ft.+Elvis+and+Biz+Markie
Julian Ortiz

On March 12 2024, Nicholson Library hosted another Readings at the Nick, featuring Linfield’s own professor Jesse Donaldson and second time speaker Elena Passarello. With both local McMinnville residents and students in attendance for the reading, the audience was privileged to hear not only new material from the authors but also unpublished works. Instead of having one author read and then the next, the duo was situated in a style akin to “Between Two Ferns” except in this case it was two lamps.
While not many questions were asked, the reading felt more conversational than presentational. Passarello’s piece was an exploration done through her watching of 31 Elivs films. Each film served as a jumping off point for a larger, more interesting point.
“I might be the only person to have seen all 31 films,” Passarello said.
The crowd after letting out a hearty chuckle could only watch about three films themselves due to access. Passarello passionately prattled on about the long history and dedication to Elvis impersonation. Citing that it is not relegated to a specific generation; the current best impersonator is 24 years old. Passarello mentioned that because Elivs is such a pervasive and superhero-esque character, “It’s fun to try him on.”
Jesse’s reading was equally engaging as Passarello’s, including parts where the audience could sing along to songs he cited in his essay. His style felt humorous, leaving plenty of opportunity to laugh and engage with his material. His essay was about the unintended relationship between happy accidents, musicality and the misconceptions of art and pain. All of these subjects funneled through Biz Markie’s “Just a friend,” a song that even if you haven’t heard of the artist, you’ve surely heard the song. Both essayists demonstrated their prowess of taking otherwise mundane subjects and transforming them into palpable, relatable pieces.
At the tail end, Donaldson mentioned he’s currently working on a fiction novel, and was asked what the difference between fiction and nonfiction was.
“Fiction is like neatly packing your suitcase, each shirt is rolled up in exactly the right way. Non-fiction is packing your suitcase, but when you get to your destination you open it, and it is someone else’s. What do you do with it?” said Donaldson.
The eveny ran about an hour long, never for a moment dragging or being without a good chuckle.
The next Reading at the Nick is to be held April 19 2024, with Jane Wong.

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About the Contributor
Julian Ortiz, Staff Writer
Julian Ortiz is a staff writer with a particular focus on writing movie reviews. He is a JAMS major, creative writing minor. Coming out of Keizer Oregon, Julian loves to write, and to create. In his free-time he enjoys watching video essays on Youtube, going to the movies, writing, and talking way too much about storytelling.

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