What My Undergraduate Creative Writing Students Taught Me

By Lynnell Edwards, Spalding MFA Associate Program Director

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For those interested in exploring the mysteries of the undergraduate creative writer, Lynnell will be leading the Teaching Seminar in both the Spring and Summer (Santiago) 2019 residencies.

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The old truism that we learn more from our students than they learn from us has been often, and perhaps to the point of cliché, argued. However, on my journey as a teacher of creative writing, there have been a handful of students who taught me things I needed to, but didn’t, know. Here are three memories of gratitude to those students.

Continue reading “What My Undergraduate Creative Writing Students Taught Me”
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The Little MFA Dramatic Writing Program That Could – Part 1

By Charlie Schulman, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Dramatic Writing Faculty

This is the first of an ongoing series that will report and promote the accomplishments of Spalding University’s MFA Dramatic Writing alums and current students. In this edition we will be featuring four MFA Playwriting alums who are making contributions to the field by creating theater-making opportunities for themselves and others.

This is at the heart of the ethos of the Spalding program: the writer as provocateur who builds and sustains community while creating opportunity for themselves and others.

Continue reading “The Little MFA Dramatic Writing Program That Could – Part 1”

So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part III: Poetry

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry (Translation) Faculty

While it is true that Chile has a long list of novelists worthy of attention, the literary truism about the nation is that “Chile is a country of poets.” Indeed, though not all the novelists start out as a poets, many do.

Continue reading “So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part III: Poetry”

 So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part II: Fiction

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry (Translation) Faculty

When considering fiction writers to recommend, the list is long and any attempt at exhaustiveness is impossible in such a short post. As I’ve already mentioned Ariel Dorfman and Isabel Allende in Part I of this series, I’ll move on to others.

Continue reading ” So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part II: Fiction”

So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part 1: Memoir and Travel Writing

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry (Translation) Faculty

Biblioteca Nacional de Chile (National Library of Chile in Santiago)

When readers and writers travel to another country, the question is always one of triaging the reading: what to read before, what to take with you? Do you, like Paul Theroux in Old Patagonian Express, take mostly reading unrelated to your travels, supplemented by a generically famous Latin American poet? Do you, like a historian friend of mine, refuse to read travel literature about the country you are visiting because you want to see the world with fresh eyes? If, instead, you are one who wants to read up on a country, where do you start? When considering the classics, do you focus on Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, the two Nobel Prize-winning poets from Chile? When considering contemporary writers, do you go with the recently deceased critical darling, the novelist Roberto Bolaño, or someone less well-celebrated?

Continue reading “So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part 1: Memoir and Travel Writing”

Writing in Times of Tumult

By Eleanor Morse, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Fiction Faculty

I’ve recently finished a book and a hush has fallen over my writing life, not just the stillness that comes from the end of a book, but something else. In a recent blog post, Robin Lippincott wrote eloquently about the silence that comes from personal grief. Although different, the silence I’ve been experiencing has a kinship with what Robin wrote about: a wordlessness connected with the sorrow of being a citizen of a country where lies and injustices have become commonplace, and where those who are vulnerable are ever more at risk.

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On Not Writing

By Robin Lippincott, Spalding Low-Residency MFA

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If a wound is great
you cannot turn it into
something that is spoken,
it can barely be written.
—Michael Ondaatje, Warlight

I want to write about not writing, because sometimes we don’t; and sometimes when we don’t, we don’t because we can’t. (Of course, there are numerous reasons why writers don’t/can’t write, many of which are chronicled in Tillie Olsen’s seminal book, Silences).

As some of you know, I recently experienced the death of my partner of 36 years, Lee Salkovitz. Continue reading “On Not Writing”

Maggie Smith: Poet, ‘Homebody,’ and 2018 Axton Writer’s Block Keynote

By Guest Blogger Brent Coughenour, Assistant Director of Creative Writing, University of Louisville

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The sponsors for the 2018 Writer’s Block Festival—which takes place at the College Street Building (812 South Second Street) on Spalding University’s campus, on Saturday, November 10, beginning at 9:00 a.m.—are ecstatic about this year’s keynote speaker: the poet Maggie Smith, who will deliver the University of Louisville’s Anne and William Axton Reading Series keynote address at 5:00 p.m. in the third floor ballroom. Continue reading “Maggie Smith: Poet, ‘Homebody,’ and 2018 Axton Writer’s Block Keynote”