MFA in Creative Writing Program presents
Summer Community of Writers
Creative Nonfiction Workshop
This workshop course will explore the exciting and diverse genre of creative nonfiction. Each student will have an essay workshopped by the class and the instructor, and we will work on in-class writing exercises designed to help you generate new essays. Additionally, we will read and discuss examples of contemporary nonfiction from recent Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Science & Nature Writing anthologies. We will also discuss (and attempt to answer) questions about publishing your creative nonfiction: Where should you submit your work? What about contests? What about publishing a book? Each student will be asked to informally introduce the class to a literary journal.
Katie Fallon is the author of the nonfiction books Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird (UPNE, 2017) and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (Ruka Press, 2011), which was a Finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. Katie is also the co-author of two books for children, Look, See the Bird! (2017) and Look, See the Farm! (forthcoming 2018), both from Hatherleigh Press. Katie's essays have appeared in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Fourth River, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ecotone, Bark Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Isotope, the minnesota review, The Tusculum Review, Terrain, Still, and elsewhere. Her essay "Rebirth" (published in River Teeth, Fall 2013) was listed as "Notable" in Best American Science & Nature Writing 2014, and her essay "Hill of the Sacred Eagles" was a finalist in Terrain's 2011 essay contest. Katie has taught creative writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University; she is currently Guest Faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she teaches Nonfiction in the Low-Residency MFA Program. Katie is also one of the founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the region's wild birds through research, outreach, and rehabilitation. Her first word was "bird."
Poetry Workshop: To Be Changed, Healed, and Charged
C.D. Wright once wrote that "Some of us do not read or write particularly for pleasure or instruction, but to be changed, healed, charged." This workshop proceeds from the idea that poetry is an invitation to transformation (Rilke: "you must change your life."). It will introduce traditional lyric modes and forms (the ode, elegy, sonnet, pantoum) alongside some more recent experimental modes (erasure, documentary poetics) with the goal of writing a poetry that listens to the margins of our society and our souls, offering comfort for the afflicted and affliction for the comfortable.
Philip Metres is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (2015), To See the Earth (2008), and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, the Hunt Prize, Arts & Letters, two Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize and a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant. He is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland.
Derek Green is the author of New World Order, a collection of linked stories set in various locations around the globe. In addition to his work as a fiction writer, he has published nonfiction on subjects ranging from industrial farming and trauma surgery to national politics and the international war on terror. As a screenwriter, he has written for Warner Bros. and Carousel Productions, and has co-created, written, and presented television projects at many major studios including HBO, AMC, and Sony Productions. Derek travels widely as a speaker and has delivered seminars, workshops, and presentations in twenty-two countries on six continents. A member of the Writers Guild of America East and The PEN American Center, he recently completed a novel about the rise of an armed Midwestern militia and a second collection of stories, and is at work on several television projects. He lives in Connecticut and teaches at Yale.
Open Senses, Open Road, Open Mind: Writing the Intersection of Food and Travel
Scarce or abundant, pungent, putrid, or perfect, food brings us in touch with the world. Whether we cross the street or a continent, our encounters with farms and markets, cooking and eating on the road change our minds and shape our lives. In this workshop, we will explore the literature, the language, the rich ingredients and recipes for writing that arrests readers and hijacks them into unfamiliar lands and new sensory territory, scenes that make their mouths water and their imaginations dance through the night.
Our goal is to take away 750-1,000 words that can change the way readers see the world - all around us and at a distance.
For more than twenty-five years, Paul Hertneky has written stories, essays, and scripts for The Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NBC News, The Comedy Channel, Gourmet, Eating Well, Bon Appetit, Traveler's Tales, The Exquisite Corpse, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Adbusters, and many more. Serving in foodservice in the U.S. and Europe as a cook, bartender, waiter, winemaker, and journalist covering the US Culinary Olympic Team, he has won a Solas Award for travel writing and two James Beard Award nominations. His memoir, RUST BELT BOY: Stories of an American Childhood (Bauhan 2016), takes a deep dive into the food of his youth. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he serves on the faculty of Chatham University and lives , in Hancock, New Hampshire.
Flash Fiction: Compression and Comprehension
This four-day workshop goes deep into tiny stories. We'll read, write, revise, and discuss all manner of compressed worlds in order to understand the importance of brevity in our own work and to gain further insight the significance of flash fiction in contemporary literature. Plan to write many new stories using prompts, props, and the natural world around you as inspiration.
Sherrie Flick is a fiction writer, food writer, and freelance writer and copy editor living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her book publications include the flash fiction chapbook I Call This Flirting, Reconsidering Happiness: A Novel, and the short story collection Whiskey, Etc. (Queen's Ferry Press, 2016.) Her food writing appears in The Wall Street Journal, Ploughshares, Pittsburgh Quarterly and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as well as the anthology Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie: Midwestern Writers on Food.