WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT INFLUENCE

by K. L. Cook
Spalding MFA Faculty, Fiction

IMG_5B702B6CCEA7-1As both a writer and teacher, I’ve been obsessed with the question of influence, both nonliterary and literary. It’s informed my scholarly work as well as my fiction and nonfiction, not to mention the kinds of courses I’ve designed, such as Forms of Fiction, Sudden Fiction, Short Story Cycle, Literature of the American Dream, Shakespeare, The American West in Film and Literature, and Family Systems in Film and Literature. A couple of years ago, I taught a special topics course for MFA students at Iowa State University entitled The Ecstasy of Influence, in which the students and I explored what we talk about when we talk about literary influence. It is one of my favorite courses—and one that helped me reshape the kinds of questions I now focus on for most of my other creative writing and literature courses. Continue reading “WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT INFLUENCE”

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CUT, PASTE, REPEAT: Collage Writing

by Dianne Aprile
Spalding MFA Faculty, Creative Nonfiction

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

A year or so 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”

A Song for an Artist: Who and What Inspires You?

By: Eleanor Morse

Spalding MFA Faculty

While I was teaching at the Spalding residency this past May, an artist friend died. Victor had been failing for some time, but his death still felt sudden. I’d gotten used to his fragility, to his heart-stoppingly thin, stooped frame. Because his spirit was so vital, I thought, beyond reason, that he’d manage to just keep going. But then it became clearer that he wasn’t going to keep going. Continue reading “A Song for an Artist: Who and What Inspires You?”