Chatham University

Summer 2013 Pittsburgh Community Of Writers Schedule

Sheryl St. Germain, Director Chatham MFA Program (412) 459-7286
Melanie Fox, Interim Director, Low-Res MFA (412) 320-1621
Jessica Server, Assistant (773) 757-8024
And introducing Sheila Squillante, Associate Director, Low-Res MFA as of August 2013

Core Faculty: BK Loren, Fiction and Keynote; Lori Jakiela, Creative Nonfiction; Sean Thomas Dougherty, Poetry; Sherrie Flick, Fiction and Food Writing

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2:00 – 4:00Arrival & Registration
Lobby, Mellon Center
3:00 – 3:30Chatham Campus Tour (optional)
Lobby, Mellon Center
5:30 – 6:30Dinner (on your own)
6:30 – 7:30Opening Reception
Living Room, Mellon Center
7:30 – 9:00

Faculty Reading
Sherrie Flick, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Lori Jakiela, Aubrey Hirsch
Living Room, Mellon Center
A book signing will follow the reading.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

8:30 – 9:15Continental Breakfast
Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall
9:15 – 10:30 Orientation
Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall
Sheryl St. Germain, Director, MFA Program
Melanie Fox, Interim Director, Low-Res MFA Program
10:45 – 12:00

Craft Lecture : 10 Easy Steps to Publication, or How To Kill a Damn Good Story Before the First Word Hits the Page.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

BK Loren

12:00 – 1:20Lunch (on your own)
1:30 – 4:00 Writing Workshops
Fiction Workshop 1 (Sherrie Flick, instructor): Seminar Room 1 (134), Buhl Hall
Fiction Workshop 2 (BK Loren, instructor): Devore Room, Mellon Center
Creative Nonfiction Workshop (Lori Jakiela, instructor): First Floor, Lindsay House
Poetry Workshop (Sean Thomas Dougherty, instructor): Third Floor, Lindsay House
4:00 – 6:00

Individual Conferences

Dinner (on your own)

Open Evening for Writing

Friday, August 2, 2013

9:00 – 11:30 Writing Workshops
Fiction Workshop 1: Seminar Room 1 (134), Buhl Hall
Fiction Workshop 2: Devore Room, Mellon Center
Creative Nonfiction Workshop: First Floor, Lindsay House
Poetry Workshop: Third Floor, Lindsay House
11:30 – 1:20Lunch (on your own)
1:30 – 2:45

Craft Lecture: In the Lab: Experiment in Creative Writing

Feeling bored with convention? This section begins with a discussion of what happens when writers throw traditional forms out the window. Whether you're interested in poems that masquerade as Facebook updates or prose that shatters conventional ideas about grammar, we'll look at creative work guaranteed to put your current ideas about literature through the blender. We'll also perform some of our own experiments through guided writing exercises suitable for any genre.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Aubrey Hirsch

3:15 – 4:30

Craft Lecture: Art for Everyone: Teaching in Alternative Spaces

PART ONE:
Why are we interested in teaching non-traditional students? What do we hope to achieve with this kind of work? In this two-part lecture, we will explore the philosophy of and goals for working with non-traditional students, and explore the unique challenges of different settings.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Sarah Shotland

4:30 – 5:30Individual Conferences
7:30 – 9:00

Keynote Address and Reading
Rewilding the Mind: Why Place-Based Writing Matters Now More Than Ever.

Mellon Board Room, Mellon Center

BK Loren

Book Signing and Reception to follow

Saturday, August 3

9:00 – 11:30Writing Workshops
11:30 – 1:15Lunch (on your own)
1:30 – 2:45

Craft Lecture: The Grammar of Metaphor: Mapping the Light Inside the Prism

Poets and prose writers often talk about the “poetic.” What they often mean by that specifically is the use of figurative language (and syntax).  Metaphors are what arise from the collision of our individual ontology and experience with language. This lecture will examine the actual structure of how metaphors exist in English grammar as a strategy for invention, and particularly for revision.  You will learn how to embed metaphors, and to recognize contextual meaning-making and the possible points for metaphorical creation. You will learn the seven major forms of metaphor, and write a character sketch or a prose poem using these techniques 

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Sean Thomas Dougherty

3:15 – 4:30

Craft Lecture: Maybe It Went Like This: The Ethics and Art of Perhaps-ing in Creative Nonfiction

When our access to the facts is limited, writers of creative nonfiction often hit roadblocks. How can we move the story forward, how can we deepen a narrative, without making things up? How can we provide readers with information they need without compromising our ethics as writers of nonfiction? Enter the fine art of perhaps-ing. This talk will focus on ways authors can use the speculative to effectively recreate scenes and dialogue, examine the contrast between factual truth and emotional truth, and enhance rather than diminish a reliable narrative voice.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Lori Jakiela

4:30 – 5:30

Individual Conferences

Dinner (on your own)

7:00 – 8:00

Student Reading, plus open mic

Lori Barrett, Betsy Butler, Portia Garrow, Abbey Hood, Stephan Schriver, Aimee Walton, Steve Whiskeyman

Mellon Board Room, Mellon Center

Sunday, August 4, 2013

8:00 – 10:00Open Time for Writing or Individual Conferences
10:00 – 11:15

Craft Lecture: Navigating Disaster

How do we write about disasters, either public or private? To what end? A multi-genre craft discussion focusing on the tools of the craft, the aesthetic possibilities, and the ethical responsibilities of the writer who traffics in disaster.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Sheryl St. Germain

11:30 – 3:00Trip to Strip District (optional)
3:00 – 7:00Open for writing and individual conferences
7:30 – 9:00Words Without Walls Reading and Reception
Mellon Board Room, Mellon Center

Monday, August 5, 2012

9:00 – 11:30Writing Workshops
12:00 – 1:00Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 3:00Low-Res Student and Mentor Meetings, Individual conferences
Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall
4:00 – 7:00

Open for writing, journaling, individual conferences, Words Without Walls class observation (limited number of slots, previous arrangements necessary)

Dinner (on your own)

Tuesday, August 6, 2012

9:00 – 11:30Writing Workshops
1:30 – 2:45Individual conferences
Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall
3:15 – 4:30 Craft Lecture: Eating Toward Memory

Food can be a great access point to emotion. Food Writing becomes a unique lens through which we examine complex taste and memory. This lecture and discussion looks closely at what happens when we write about food and explores how this work is best crafted to make these powerful connections.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Sherrie Flick

4:30 – 5:30

Individual conferences

Dinner (on your own)

7:30 – 9:00

MFA Faculty Reading

Sarah Shotland, Sheila Squillante, Robert Stevens, Melanie Fox

Living Room, Mellon Center

A book signing will follow the reading.

Wednesday, August 7, 2012

9:00 – 11:30Writing Workshops
11:30 – 1:20Lunch (on your own)
1:30 – 2:45

Individual Conferences

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

3:15 – 4:30

Craft Lecture: What happens when an anthology is designed in hopes of loosing the words from its pages? The editors will discuss the process of putting together New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society, an anthology that argues that the value of literature is essentially neither cerebral nor emotional but as what Etheridge Knight liked to call the belly.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Holly Messitt and James Tolan

Dinner (on your own)

7:00 – 9:00New America: a Reading
Mellon Board Room

James Tolan, Holly Messitt, Toi Derricotte, Sheryl St. Germain

Thursday, August 8, 2013

9:00 – 12:00Writing Workshops
12:00 – 1:20Lunch (on your own)
1:30 – 2:45

Individual Conferences

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

3:15 – 4:30

Craft Lecture: Art for Everyone: Teaching in Alternative Spaces.

PART TWO:
In the second section of this lecture, we will address challenges and opportunities found in a variety of settings, including jails, halfway houses, rehabilitation centers and youth facilities.  We will discuss how to identify need in your own community and explore resources that can help you start or strengthen a creative writing program.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Sarah Shotland

4:00 – 7:00

Open for writing, journaling, individual conferences, Words Without Walls class observation (limited number of slots, previous arrangements necessary)

Dinner (on your own)

Friday, August 9, 2013

9:00 – 11:30Writing Workshops
11:45 – 1:15

Publishing 101(bring your own lunch)

This is a brief, informal talk focused on publishing stories, essays, and poems. We will discuss how to find venues for your work, how to write a cover letter, and other aspects of publishing.  Students will receive a handout with in-depth information about submitting to literary journals and a detailed description of how to submit book-length projects to university, indie, and major presses.

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

Robert Stevens

1:30 – 3:00 Trip to Nine Mile Run (Frick Park) with nature writing exercises from BK Loren (optional)
3:30 – 7:00Open for writing, individual conferences, journaling

Dinner (on your own)
7:30 – 9:00

Graduating MFA Students & Community Writers Reading and Celebration 

Beth Blumer, Dan Kirk, Tom O’Rourke, Daniela Buccilli, Wendy Scott Paff, Carol Schubert, Stephanie Vega, and others TBA

Mellon Board Room, Mellon Center

A reception with cake and champagne will accompany the reading. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

8:30 – 9:30Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15

Residency Wrap-up and Evaluation: Journals due.

Melanie Fox

Sanger Room, Coolidge Hall

10:15Dismissal & Rides to the Airport if Needed