Quasar, a local Arts Organization, held its monthly writers, music, and art event on Sunday, May 30th. Featuring fiction authors Charles Ramsay McCrory and Lawson Marchetti, Poet Ellie K. Black, visual artist Whitson Ramsey, as well as their musical guest, Subcontra.
The event saw a large increase of people coming out since Quasar started having events again in April.
The event started with readings from McCrory, who read an excerpt from a novel he is currently working on titled “mobile Home”, a southern, queer family story.
“It’s from a novel in progress that I’ve been working on for a couple of years now. It was a part of my M.F.A. Thesis at Washington University in St. Louis,” McCrory said.
Ellie Black, a poet, and student in the M.F.A. creative writing program at the University of Mississippi Graduate School read seven pieces of her work from the last year.
“I’m doing a lot of work right now about inhuman subjects like robots and aliens, demons and angels. I’m really excited about that right now,” Black said.
Like many others, Black has been a fan of Quasar and the work they do, she said she would try to go to as many as she could before the pandemic started.
“I really support what they do here and the readings are always so good and the music is always so good, I love it,” Black said.
Lawson Marchetti is a returning reader at Quasar, he recounted when Quasar was hosted at someone’s house before they started using the Old Armory Pavilion and being sponsored by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.
Marchetti read an excerpt from his novel in progress, in which he explores a theme that he holds dear in his own life.
“I think that the important theme in this one is going to end up exploring as totally as I can, which is unrequited love,” Marchetti said.
Many of the readers who come to Quasar eventually come back, Marchetti and Black are both returners to Quasar’s microphone.
Quasar’s co-organizer Hunter Johnson had this to say about their repeat performers:
“We tend to have repeat performers because we are very busy, this is all on our own time, this is all volunteer work and donation-based so we tend to have people who come and perform at one Quasar and then a couple of months later they’ll come back and do it again,” Johnson said.
Like so many others, Quasar was hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.
They could no longer at that time get their quarterly magazine printed due to a lack of donations and when winter set in and a spike in Covid-19 cases occurred, they had to cancel events.
“We would also love to have consistent funding for our magazine because Covid hit us really hard in that,” Quasar’s Co-Organizer, Amy Webb said.
Webb also spoke about the future of Quasar, a future with Quasar becoming a Nonprofit, which would allow them to have regularly funds to publish their magazine, host their monthly events, and even support friends of Quasar with their endeavors as a sponsor.
As Quasar continues to grow, so does the love and support it garners from those who come to read and show off their work as well.
“I think this is a great organization and I hope they continue to get more recognition and more funding and more support in town,” McCrory said, “As you can see it’s really bringing a lot of people in the community together and I think Oxford needs that as much as possible,”
Quasar will hold its next event on June 27th.