The Art of Losing
By Nick Chhoeun
On February 28th, the AU Literature Department event “The Art of Losing” showcased particular “poets, prose writers, musicians – anyone who put pen to paper who was important to you.” The goal was to celebrate the works of these people and discuss why they will continue to be influential.
Having only found out about the event the same day, I didn’t bring anything to share. Among the people discussed were artists such as musician Tom Petty, poet Max Rivto, and actress/writer Carrie Fisher. Their written works held importance to each person that shared and broke down the significance of their works. They showcased how each person used writing in their particular art and succeeded in adapting it to their benefit. I found the presentations moving.
The event allowed people to take the time and space to pay homage to these writers. While the event had a sad undertone, everyone was smiling and sharing laughs. I left the event feeling content and grateful for all those artists and writers. They were able to use writing to influence people even after their passing.
As I gave the subject about what artists that recently passed in 2017 more thought, I thought about the people whose death I never took the time to reflect upon. The one person who passed in 2017 and who stood out to me was Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park. Like the other artists people talked about, Chester and his songs with Linkin Park played an important role in my life growing up. Many of his songs dealt with strong emotions, feelings, and experiences that motivated me during certain events in my life. When he passed, many fans, including other famous artists, recognized the importance of his songs in their lives.
“The Art of Losing” is an annual event that the AU Literature Department hosts. Although we hope our favorite artists and writers will never pass away, we are lucky to have their writing live on with us. I urge people to reflect on the works of those who recently passed and played a significant role in their lives.
Image: Alternative Nation
Nick Chhoeun is a staff editor at Café MFA and a first-year candidate in American University’s Creative Writing MFA program.