By Roy Hoffman, Spalding MFA Fiction & Creative Nonfiction Faculty
With art nearby when I write – from our Georgia O’Keefe kitchen calendar to the paintings, sculpture, and ceramics, many by friends, throughout our house – I find myself inspired, as a word person, by the color, shape, and texture of the visual. From the time as a college freshman I taped up a poster of Henri Rousseau’s “The Sleeping Gypsy” on my dorm wall, to trips to New York where, ritually, I visit the Metropolitan Museum’s Rembrandt room to gaze into portraits where time creases faces, I find, in art, places to lose myself, to dream, to learn, ever more clearly, to see. Continue reading “Writing with Art”
By Jason Hill, Spalding MFA Coordinator of Student Services & Marketing
This past winter I led a pair of workshops at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s a great place, full of people who come to learn and look for someone to help guide them. When I proposed the two workshops (one of which I co-led with my wife, Kelly) I did so thinking it would be good experience and could open the door for other workshops or similar opportunities. But as I prepared and then held the workshops, I realized something else: This too is something writers do. Continue reading “Being a Writer”
By Maureen Morehead, Spalding MFA Poetry Faculty
George Bernard Shaw’s Writing Shed
For twenty years I have written in the first floor family room of my house. I have an office on the second. It’s a spacious room with manila-colored walls, a vaulted ceiling, a large palladium window, an antique desk, a trestle table with baskets and writing magazines, a magnifying mirror I use for putting on makeup, two red chairs, a filing cabinet, a printer, and a black three-drawer bow-front dresser in which I store paper and envelopes, folders, paper clips, staples, rubber bands—the stuff of a writer. Continue reading “Writing Rooms”
EXCITING UPDATES FROM SPALDING MFA STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY, AND STAFF ON PUBLISHING, PRODUCING, AND OTHER DOINGS – ENJOY!
Continue reading “Life of a Writer”
by Kirby Gann, Spalding MFA Fiction Faculty
Though I’ve long considered myself primarily a novelist, I’ve taken a shot at the short story form (never with real confidence) off and on over the past twenty-five years.
Continue reading “Looking at Who You Used to Be”
By Eleanor Morse, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Fiction Faculty
Burdened Children (1930), Paul Klee
Last week, the day after seventeen students were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I received an anguished email from one of my students, which began like this: “Yesterday was a day of terrible loss…and writing or creating feels pointless to me, at this time. I’m just reaching out…How do you keep going on days like this? I am struggling…the lofty notions of making the world a better place through storytelling are just falling flat today.” Continue reading “Why Write? Bearing the Weight of Fear in the World.”
By SENA JETER NASLUND, Founding Program Director
So many of you I did not get to hug and squeeze whom I wished to thank for your thanks, at SenaFest, the marvelous surprise occasion, conceived by my partner-in-crime Karen Mann to mark my retirement as Founding Program Director! Continue reading “From Sena, with Love”
By JULIE BRICKMAN, SPALDING MFA FICTION FACULTY
On August 23, 2017, the author Susan Vreeland died. She was 71 years old and died from the consequences of the illness that launched her mind into composing her best work. Continue reading “Goodbye, Darlin’: A Tribute to a Great Writer.”
Leslie Daniels, Spalding MFA Fiction Faculty
This is not my #MeToo post. With a 500 word limit, where would I begin? With the convict who held a knife against my 11 year old stomach? Or the psych professor in grad school 20 years later who pressed me for dates? With the decades in between of sidewalk ass grabbers or party gropers and worse, experiences of weirdness, of intimate violence, of trespass? How about the silencers, the ones who urged me not to speak of it, the shamers?
Continue reading “This Is Not My #MeToo Post”
Interview by Caitlin McCann, Originally appeared in StorySouth, Back Issue #41
Kathleen Driskell’s most recent book, Next Door to the Dead, is a Kentucky Voices selection published by The University Press of Kentucky. In this collection of poetry, Driskell reflects upon the experience of living next door to a graveyard. A graveyard she was initially led to believe was full, essentially inactive. She quickly discovered the opposite was true when one afternoon she had to bring in groceries while a funeral was being held next door—a moment she recounts in “Living Next to the Dead Acre.” Then there are also the teenagers who think themselves to be bold and cool to creep around a cemetery in the middle of the night, which she writes about in “What Haunts” But Driskell does not stay on our plane of existence for very long. The poems shift into the perspectives of the graveyard’s inhabitants, thus creating a community that would not otherwise exist. Each neighbor’s resurrected voice is distinct, relatable, and poignant. Driskell’s ability to make the 167-year-old death of a mother and her infant in “Markers” feel fresh and personal is astounding. Driskell writes of her neighbors with such tenderness and reverence. She is able to transcend the book’s focused location to deftly speak on themes and societal issues like love, war, fried chicken, and the female mummy in “Tchaenhotep: Mummy at the Kentucky Science Center” who is doomed to be the subject of the male gaze. Driskell’s voice as a poet is admirable—there is strength in its quietude, and it is this subtle strength that allows Next Door to the Dead to resonate long after you have read the last poem. Continue reading “Finding Love in Loss: An Interview with Kathleen Driskell”