Feedback that resonates

tamrawilson Uncategorized

The dictionary defines “resonance” as “the effect of an event or work of art beyond its immediate or surface meaning.” It’s an effect all artists strive for–to communicate in a special way, to touch a life. Resonance is the stuff that makes all the hours of preparation, practice and honing one’s craft worthwhile.

Three weeks ago, I had privileged to share my talk on “What Makes a Southern Story Southern” with the Lifelong Learning Program at East Carolina University in Greenville. I gave the talk as a Road Scholar with the N.C. Humanities Council. A total of 325 people turned out that Saturday afternoon.

Evaluations are part of the process. In all, more than 120 members of the audience gave feedback. I was humbled by their positive comments, including one individual who wrote, “It’s like you must have grown up next door to me.”

Of course I didn’t know this person and she had never been part of my neighborhood, but having heard my presentation, it was as if we had a bond, that human connection that makes us part of one big neighborhood.

It reminded me of a student who pulled be aside a couple of years ago at a community college after a reading of my story, “Priscilla the Meatpacker.”

“Thanks for giving textile workers a voice,” she said.

Her comment meant more to me than any other that day. Though I never lived in a mill village or was part of a textile family, I empathized and re-created their world in a believable way.

I had succeeded as a writer.