Hums of sound drifted across the full Alcorn Auditorium as author Christine Hume read aloud.

“One thing I’m really interested in is sound,” Hume said. “The sounds of the universe are connected to language.”

Hume was the second to speak for the American Book Review series this fall semester at the University of Houston-Victoria. She teaches in the creative writing program at Eastern Michigan University.

The featured author said sound is important and shaped the environment around the universe. The sounds around her are what inspired her recent work “Saturation Project,” a lyric memoir in the form of three interlinked essays. She read one of the essays, “Hum,” to the 116 people before her.

“Streaming through me,” she read as an ominous moan rang overhead. “The sound owned me.”

Over the speakers, a man’s voice echoed Hume’s as she continued reading. Each shriek and squeal coinciding with the words she spoke.

As she read, she paused. She then asked the crowd of predominantly of college students to hum in unison as she read.

“I love the way humming brings people together,” Hume said after finishing her piece.

She said that people connect through sound and in the midst of humming the crowd matched pitch.

Hume noted that her childhood also inspired the piece. When she was 12 years old, her family moved and she adopted a humming tendency during that time.

“Mostly I did not know I was sounding until someone drew my attention to it,” Hume read from her essay.

UHV English senior Raeanna Spicer said the sound was intense, but it played well with the essay.

“(Hume is) everywhere,” she said. “I love it.”

Spicer said she enjoys attending the American Book Review series because it allows her to interact with a successful author.

“It’s cool to see other authors and be with other people who are like-minded,” she said.

A line of students formed at a small table outside the auditorium. Atop the table sat a stack of Hume’s book, “Ventifacts.” Hume sat behind the table signing and answering students’ questions.

UHV English freshman Madasyn Bowman purchased the book. She said she enjoyed listening to Hume read. She especially liked the ending of her essay in which Hume outlined that when a person reads aloud they are puppets of the author.

Bowman said she enjoys campus-based events like the American Book Review series because it broadens her world views and scope of authors.

UHV history freshman Consuelo Leos mirrored Bowman’s thoughts.

“It was really, really deep,” Leos said. “There were so many different layers in both of the readings that she did.”

She said the first regarding sound went a step further and looked at childhood and being heard.

As a writer, Leos it was great to see a successful writer.

“It’s cool. I really don’t know how to get to that spot,” she said. “Seeing other writers go to places where they can do interviews and talk about their stories makes me want to try harder. Maybe I can be in a spot like that one day.”

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate.  She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism. 

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