Anne Valente graciously came to Geneseo to share a passage from her short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names and I’d like to share a reflection. A story about ghosts, apropos for Halloween, but also one about dealing with latent feelings stemming from trauma and abuse. As someone not primarily involved in the English or writing department who does not frequently attend events such as these, I enjoyed this considerably more than I thought I would. Primarily, the subject matter of the piece was excellent. The story involved three women of different backgrounds searching for paranormal activity. A ghastly presence, not seen on the surface, but affecting the world around them. This creates an interesting comparison to their own traumatic pasts. Something grim that manifests as an internal struggle, which outsiders do not see, but affects their worldview and daily lives. There are many other good things I could say about the content, but hearing it in person from the woman who crafted it was the most interesting part for me. Hearing exactly how it was meant to be read, with inflection, timing, and tone, was something I had not previously though would be so effective. A great piece on its own, but coupled with hearing the emotion and narration of the woman who put it on paper created a lovely experience.