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 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”

Join Spalding at the Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, Oct. 12-14

By Karen Leslie (Chronister), Spalding MFA Alumni

SFB Print 24x36 with bleed FINAL downsized for web

In the current era where arts and humanities programs are threatened with a hard shove to the sidelines, The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word is a bold and bright voice booming atop the Nashville landscape. For three days in October, the SFB gathers together book lovers and the nation’s and region’s prominent writers, offering dozens of panels on the writing arts in downtown Nashville. Spalding will debut a booth this year with program advocacy and honoring our writers in mind, including faculty member Silas House and his recent novel, Southernmost, and alum Charles Dodd White with In the House of Wilderness, both featured on the main program, as well as faculty member Jeanie Thompson and alum Juyanne James, who are featured in panel sessions. Continue reading “Join Spalding at the Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, Oct. 12-14”


By Katy Yocom, Spalding MFA Associate Director







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”

Looking Back on the Brink of Looking Forward

Karen Mann, Co-Founder & Administrative Director of Spalding low-residency MFA

Mann Karen for blog




At the MFA residency this fall, we are honoring Sena Jeter Naslund as she retires from the MFA program at the end of the year and turns her attention to new creative projects. Leading up to the residency, I have been thinking not only about what’s brought us to this point in the MFA program but I have also been anticipating the future! Continue reading “Looking Back on the Brink of Looking Forward”


by Roy Hoffman
Spalding MFA faculty, fiction & creative nonfiction

Roy_BlogImageWhen you pack your bags for your next trip, whether a few hours from home or as far away, to an American traveler, as Buenos Aires, Rome, or Edinburgh, take along your travel writer’s sensibility. You’ll already have the tools in place—pen and paper, laptop and camera—so making a record of where you go, what you see, eat, and learn, is not a practical but perceptual challenge.  Our senses become heightened by the excitement of travel, the allure of different landscapes, languages and foods. As writers we note it all in colorful detail in our journals and e-mails home. But how can we shape this material into articles or personal essays for a larger audience? Here are some tips—and questions—to keep in mind. Continue reading “REFLECTIONS ON TRAVEL WRITING”


By Kathleen Driskell
Spalding MFA Associate Program Director

I’m delighted to be leading our Spalding MFA summer abroad residency in Edinburgh, July 12-24, with Katy Yocom, Associate Program Director, and Ellyn Lichvar, Administrative Assistant. With our distinguished summer 2017 MFA faculty Silas House, Shane McCrae, Dianne Aprile, Leslea Newman, Charlie Schulman, and Helena Kriel, we are planning a bonnie curriculum for our students and alumni Continue reading “MY SPALDING MFA WORLD TRAVELS WITH KATY & FRIENDS”