Tagged with robert olen butler

Residency day 3

We began the day with a seminar on revision with Jennifer Vanderbes. There were some nice resonances between what she was saying about specificity and yesterday’s fiction genre workshop.

Today was my day to be workshopped, which gave me some excellent feedback on my first chapter of the novel. I’m inclined to do a complete rewrite of the chapter now, possibly deleting large pieces of it. Some of this might end up being spun off into a stand-alone story. Or perhaps I will split the chapter into two chapters.

The afternoon seminar was the return of Robert Olen Butler. More than a few of us had been put off by Butler’s tendency to regurgitate From Where You Dream to receive it very positively.

This was followed by the last of the graduating student readings. The quality of the readings continued, much to my delight.

IMG 0200The day is closing with a late-ish screening of Hal Hartley’s Trust at the Tampa Theatre. It’s a beautiful old building with most of its 1920s-era fixtures in place. It’s a great example of classic movie palace architecture with the Spanish rococo decorations surrounding the stage/screen and the theater organ on its hydraulic lift still operational. 

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Residency day 2

IMG 0104The day began with a seminar from Erika Meitner and Mary Biddinger on literary taboos. Between the reading that was assigned beforehand and the handout for the seminar there was a lot of food for thought. One student was a bit concerned about “earnest Christianity” being among the taboos so I directed him to Robert Boswell’s The Half-Known World which has a good chapter on ideology and writing fiction.

We began workshop after that and I’m looking forward to working with Jennifer Vanderbes this term. She and I seem to have a lot of common ground on process which should lead to a good relationship as I work on my thesis.

After lunch, we had out first genre workshop, today with Kevin Moffett. There were some interesting notes on writing around objects and I turned out 134 words which might stand alone as a bit of microfiction.

Then we had the first round of graduating student readings. Some really excellent stuff from our first graduating class.

The day concluded with the opening reception which featured a conversation with Robert Olen Butler, who managed to almost exactly quote his book From Where You Dream in his answers. Afterwards we adjourned to the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center for a reading from Butler and dessert.

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