“Good Bones” Poet Maggie Smith Joins the Faculty of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing

[Photo credit: Devon Albeit Photography]

Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing is pleased to welcome award-winning poet and teacher Maggie Smith to our poetry faculty. Smith will deliver a poetry lecture during our Fall 2019 residency, November 15-24, and will mentor students in independent study. She joins award-winning poets Douglas Manuel, Keith S. Wilson, Debra Kang Dean, Lynnell Edwards, Erin Keane, Greg Pape, and Jeanie Thompson on faculty.

“Of course, everyone knows what a spectacular poet Maggie Smith is,” said School of Writing Chair Kathleen Driskell. “But what makes her perfect for Spalding is that’s she’s a committed and generous teacher who will provide expert instruction to our graduate writing students.”

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Where Do Poems Come From?

By Douglas Manuel, Spalding MFA Poetry Faculty

At the book launch for her new textbook, Method and Mystery: A Research-Based Guide to Teaching Poetry, Plus Sixty Original Prompts to Take Your Students Deeper, my dear friend Tresha Faye Haefner began the festivities by reading Pablo Neruda’s famous poem “Poetry.” Following the rhetorical figuration of the poem, she then asked us in the audience where our poems come from and invited each of us to write one line answering that question. I wrote, “My poems come from the soiled undersides of stones caught in the throat of a river.”

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Four innovative writers join the faculty of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing

The School of Creative and Professional Writing at Spalding University is pleased to announce the hiring of four new faculty members to teach in the school’s low-residency graduate writing

Jason Kyle Howard joins the faculty in the areas of creative nonfiction and professional writing. Howard is author of A Few Honest Words, an essay collection that explores how the land and culture of Kentucky have shaped American music through the work of musicians including Dwight Yoakam, Jim James, and Naomi Judd, among others. He is author of the essay and oral history collection Something’s Rising (co-written with Silas House). A widely acclaimed music writer, Howard has interviewed musicians spanning all genres including Yoko Ono, Carly Simon, Patty Griffin, and the legendary folksinger Jean Ritchie. His essays and commentary have appeared in the New York TimesOxford AmericanSalonThe NationThe MillionsUtne Reader, Paste and Sojourners and have been featured on C-SPAN’s Book TV and NPR. He previously served as senior editor for Equal Justice Magazine. Howard is currently editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly based at Berea College, where he teaches and directs the creative writing program. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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A Day in Hiroshima

By Greg Pape, Spalding MFA Poetry Faculty

Outside the New Miyako Hotel cicadas’ voices ricochet off the doors of waiting taxis.  It is going to be another really hot day.  We cross the street to Kyoto Station, following our guides Yuko and Kuniko to the boarding platforms where we will wait for the bullet train to Hiroshima.  We have been warned:  when the train arrives the doors will open and remain open for two minutes, then they close and the train is off with or without you.

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Thorns Will Be Necessary: The Appeal of the Flawed Character

By Beth Ann Bauman, Spalding MFA Faculty, Writing for Children and Young Adults

One of my favorite TV shows is the HBO crime drama “The Night Of.”  It’s tough and gritty and co-written by the inimitable Richard Price.  I’m going to detour here and mention how at a New Yorker festival years back, I first met Price when he and another author gave talks about their writing. The first was affected and kept tinkling the ice in his glass in a soft, actorly way.  He was sort of full of it.  Price, on the other hand, bounded onto the stage when it was his turn, looking like he was wearing a pajama top.  He looked at us and said, “Hey, did you know there’s a really good bar across the street?”  Well, he had our attention.

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Steal Away!

By Lesléa Newman, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry Faculty
Allen Ginsberg introducing Lesléa Newman at a poetry reading at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with Peter Orlovsky, and Pat Donegan (1980)

“Good writers borrow. Great writers steal.”

I can’t remember who I stole that quote from. Which doesn’t make me a great writer necessarily. I am, however, a pretty good thief.

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So You’re Going to Chile… An Incomplete List of Writers to Know Part III: Poetry

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry (Translation) Faculty

While it is true that Chile has a long list of novelists worthy of attention, the literary truism about the nation is that “Chile is a country of poets.” Indeed, though not all the novelists start out as a poets, many do.

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The Story outside the Story in Totem: America*

By Debra Kang Dean, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry Faculty


Paul Gauguin – “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?”

When the Hawaiian Renaissance, a cultural revitalization movement, began in 1970 in my home state, I was a sophomore at a large public high school attended by students from the University district of Manoa Valley and two others between which I lived: the largely middle-class Asian district of Pauoa Valley and Papakolea, an area referred to as Hawaiian “homestead land.” A few months into the school year, I found myself in the company of an ethnically diverse group brought together by a common interest: track and field. Outside the schoolyard, Japanese investment and tourism were on the rise, and, a couple of years later, Ferdinand Marcos would declare martial law in the Philippines, which would bring an influx of Filipinos. I understood only in retrospect how this confluence of events had knocked me out of my comfort zone in the Islands. Continue reading “The Story outside the Story in Totem: America*”

Whitman, Borges, and Ironic Detachment

By Jeremy Paden, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Poetry & Translation Faculty


At residency this past May, I lectured on the tradition of response poems to Walt Whitman. The briefest of overviews concerning literary imitation was provided; and, we discussed how the response poem to Whitman seems to be unique in the history of literature. Not only are there a large number of poems that address Whitman as literary predecessor, countless poets write in a vein they consider to be Whitmanic. Continue reading “Whitman, Borges, and Ironic Detachment”