Missing Susan Sontag

By Robin Lippincott, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Faculty (Fiction)
Scan 132

Circa Late ’70s

 

 

 

 

The first time I ever saw or heard of her was on The Dick Cavett Show in the latter half of the 1970s. I was still living in Central Florida at the time, still living, in fact, with my parents. If you had said the word “intellectual” to me then I would have immediately conjured the image of a boring, old, straight, white man. But then suddenly there she was, Susan Sontag. Continue reading “Missing Susan Sontag”

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On Word Choice and John Gardner’s “Fictional Dream”

Lamar Giles, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children & Young AdultsLamar Giles

There’s an excerpt that I share with every student I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. It’s by John Gardner (1933-1982) and comes from his essay “Basic Skills, Genre, and Fiction as Dream,” which appears in the anthology Crafting Fiction: In Theory, In Practice, edited by Marvin Diogenes and Clyde Moneyhun. While the entire essay is a marvel of craft advice and analysis, it’s the portion about the fictional dream that stuck with me so long ago, and that I make sure every writer willing to take advice from me at least knows about. Like my mom says, “You can’t say no one never told you.”

 

Continue reading “On Word Choice and John Gardner’s “Fictional Dream””

MFA SUMMER RESIDENCY in KYOTO, JAPAN July 12-23, 2018

By Katy Yocom, Spalding MFA Associate Director

 

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Even in Kyoto—
Hearing the cuckoo’s cry—
I long for Kyoto.

 

Matsuo Basho

 

 

 

Each summer, the Spalding MFA in Writing program travels overseas to study creative writing while exploring literature and art across cultures. Our Summer 2018 residency takes place in Kyoto.

Continue reading “MFA SUMMER RESIDENCY in KYOTO, JAPAN July 12-23, 2018”

Bang for your buck: Cost, affordability, and what to look for when shopping for an MFA program

Katy Yocom, Associate Administrative Director, Spalding University MFA

Fourth Street Live

An MFA isn’t a degree like law or engineering, where you’re pretty sure you’re launching yourself into a lucrative career. Most people I know pursue an MFA because they have an unshakable passion for writing, because they feel driven—sometimes in the middle of their lives—to step off the expected path and do this thing that doesn’t make any sense at all, except that they can no longer pretend it’s okay not to do it.   Continue reading “Bang for your buck: Cost, affordability, and what to look for when shopping for an MFA program”

The Right Word

Eleanor Morse, Spalding MFA Faculty, Fiction   Eleanor Morse

 

How often do you pause in the middle of writing a sentence, in search of a word or phrase that describes exactly what you mean? You might keep going, leave a blank space in the text, and trust that what you need will pop out when you least expect it. Or you might sit and stare and wait for it. Or you might hunt it down relentlessly until you find it. However you seek it, there’s a moment when that word or phrase drops into place, and you know it’s right. Continue reading “The Right Word”