Tagged with mary biddinger

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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Residency day 1

So today (and yesterday) turned out to be quite the odyssey. The original plan was to take a The view from my plane as we waited a couple hours before departure 7.25p flight from Midway to Tampa, arriving at 10.50p. After a lot of delay, the flight was canceled. At 2a. I was able to get a seat on an early flight to Orlando (which was then delayed for two hours after boarding) and rent a car from there to get to Tampa (stopping at TPA to pick up my luggage), but ended up getting only four hours of sleep: two on the floor of the airport and two on the plane.

Apparently my late arrival was to make up for showing up on time for the first event last residency. I arrived just in time for the seminar on the thesis. Not a whole lot of new information provided.  The abstract frightens me. Writing a statement of artistic intent will be a challenge given that I’m not entirely sure what my artistic intent was in writing this novel, beyond telling an interesting story, and telling it well.

The evening’s readings were poets Mary Biddinger and Erika Meittner. Their work reminded me of what I remember of our directory Steve Kistulentz’s poetry.

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