After the reading, there will be a comedy show, in which readers are invited to perform and partake in the comedy.
“Art feeding art," Nissler said. "It’s a great cross-pollination and something you are not going to find in another reading."
When searching for authors to invite to the reading series, the formula is simple.
"We ask people whose writing excites us," Nissler said. “We want our writing to reflect what the authors are excited about right now or what is meaningful to them."
Michael Gutierrez, John Hoppenthaler and Niyanta Kunal Patel will be speaking at this Saturday’s reading.
Gutierrez is a fiction writer and associate professor at UNC. After graduating with a journalism degree and small stint at LA Weekly, Gutierrez had to reevaluate his career path.
“I spent three years wandering the country, working on jobs, waiting tables, bartending, moving from city to city," Gutierrez said.
Despite this, Gutierrez said he always knew he wanted to be a fiction writer. After eight years, Gutierrez published his first fictional novel about World War I. Today, he is in his eighth year at UNC, teaching and writing a new novel about climate change.
Gutierrez said he enjoys presenting his pieces at various readings.
“It’s nice to perform, you can see the reaction, hear the laughter and see the performative aspect of (writing)," Gutierrez said.
The event also helps the community, Gutierrez said.
“It gives us the chance to have a community," Gutierrez said. "Hear writers you haven’t heard before. It’s a chance to commune with other lovers of literature."
On Saturday, Gutierrez plans to read a recently published essay, which juxtaposes his life in Miami with his wife and the health of his father.
While Gutierrez completes the role of the experienced author for this reading, UNC student Patel will be the up-and-coming performer for the show.
Patel is a junior at UNC studying neuroscience with a minor in creative writing. Patel’s writing is almost always poetry, but she likes to write what she calls "funky sci-fi."
Despite poetry typically being a serious and introspective, Patel’s poems are more lighthearted and rarely draw from her life, Patel said. Quirky, all over the place, funny poems is how Patel describes her work.
Patel’s writing journey began in high school, after a brief trimester-long creative writing class. Since then, she has continued writing and pursuing her passion.
“I really like to take it seriously," Patel said. "It is very valuable to me."
Because of her focus and future in neuroscience, Patel realizes this is an important time to study writing.
Outside of writing, Patel also interns at Bull City Press. There, she helps design posters and book covers for poems and other pieces of work.
For this Saturday, Patel will be reading a piece about 1950s musician Connie Converse. It will be her first time reading in such a setting, but she said she is ready and excited for the opportunity.