Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character

By Beth Ann Bauman, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children and Young Adults

One of my favorite TV shows is the HBO crime drama “The Night Of.”  It’s tough and gritty and co-written by the inimitable Richard Price.  I’m going to detour here and mention how at a New Yorker festival years back, I first met Price when he and another author gave talks about their writing. The first was affected and kept tinkling the ice in his glass in a soft, actorly way.  He was sort of full of it.  Price, on the other hand, bounded onto the stage when it was his turn, looking like he was wearing a pajama top.  He looked at us and said, “Hey, did you know there’s a really good bar across the street?”  Well, he had our attention.

Continue reading “Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character”
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My Role Model Is a Roll of Toilet Paper: Writing with Passion and the Limits of Machines

By Nancy McCabe, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Creative Non-Fiction/Fiction Faculty

Fall 2014 photo (1)

When my daughter was in sixth grade, she was assigned an essay proposing a new holiday honoring an under-recognized historical figure. She thought and thought about this, considering favorite writers, political figures, ordinary people. Continue reading “My Role Model Is a Roll of Toilet Paper: Writing with Passion and the Limits of Machines”

CUT, PASTE, REPEAT: Collage Writing

By Dianne Aprile, Spalding MFA Creative Nonfiction Faculty

GordianKnot

Gordian Knot by Larry Calkins

…the collage form encourages us to write in a distilled, imagistic, unconsciously meaningful way…

A few years ago, I started thinking about teaching writing classes at an art center near where we live on the east side of Seattle. At first, I thought I’d like to lead ekphrastic writing classes, making use of the art exhibited at the Kirkland Arts Center, which draws to its gallery the work of artists from all over the country—and beyond.  Continue reading “CUT, PASTE, REPEAT: Collage Writing”

What Cross-Genre Exploration looks like for Spalding MFA Students

By Katy Yocom, Spalding MFA Associate Director

oldbooks

Cross-genre exploration has been a hallmark of the Spalding low-residency MFA in Writing curriculum since the program was launched in 2001. But while many students arrive eager to explore across genres, others aren’t so sure. “I want to be able to focus on my own area,” they’ll say.

Fear not, trepidatious writers. You absolutely will. You can spend every single residency and independent study in your own area, if you want. Continue reading “What Cross-Genre Exploration looks like for Spalding MFA Students”

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”

Books for the Dented Self

Neela Vaswani, Spalding MFA Faculty, Fiction

neela.authorphoto (1)

I would venture that most writers find reading healing. Find solace in words and craft and the quiet of turning pages. I usually feel that way. But at various points in my life, when I’ve been in need of healing—from trauma or loss or illness—I’ve found myself incapable of reading. I can’t get my eyes to move horizontally across sentences. And the literary fiction I normally find comforting feels inedible. Continue reading “Books for the Dented Self”