The Mill Reading Series Brings Alissa Nutting to Campus

Michaela Campbell and Alyssa Nieset

On March 2, the Mill Reading series presented Alissa Nutting, a writer and professor of Creative Writing at John Carroll University, to speak to students and staff .
Alissa Nutting has been published in multiple writing magazines and also has a book of short essays and stories titled Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Tampa.
Throughout her childhood, Nutting read everything by Edgar Allen Poe and Steven King that she could get her hands on. She also spoke of drawing influence from Moby Dick. She explained how she was drawn to books “about cranky men and unhappy people,”
which heavily influenced her hilarious writing style.
Nutting said that for her, the best time to write is either early in the morning or late at night because, “no one in the world is watching”. She would often take refuge in a 24 hour coffee shop or a library, but with the birth of her daughter she has taken to her home in a comfy recliner or chair where she can type away on her laptop and, “type at the speed of thought.”
During her presentation, Nutting first read a short essay about her first kiss. She spoke of her house littered with crucifixes, and the naïve violence of her first kissing experience with an older boy.
The next piece that Nutting read from was an excerpt from her upcoming novel. Her main character, Jasper, seduces and then scams older women out of their money. In the scene she read from, Nutting had the entire room nearly in tears of laughter as Jasper struggled with trying to escape from a dolphin that was attempting to mate with him.
Nutting puts great detail into her sensory imagery, allowing the reader to feel as if he or she is standing right next to her characters as they journey through the vivid world that Nutting has created for them. Nutting brought her spirit to campus, and it showed through her writing. Nutting was an inspiration to many of the students, and her writing is definitely worth the read.