Three Poems of the Last Decade for the New Decade

By Douglas Manuel, Spalding School of Writing Poetry Faculty

The fact the decade was ending snuck up on me, much as old age often does: no impact at all, and then, suddenly, one’s perspective on flights of stairs changes, and one’s lower back finds the key of pain a little more often. I quote T.S. Eliot far too often: “I grow old … I grow old.” So yes, because of the stupors of routine and/or the acute observation fatigue I often feel (Our current political situation is a heavy stone I remove from my chest daily.), I did not feel the sighing swirls of decade’s end until the onslaught of end-of-decade lists saturated my television time with my family and my internet time as I turned tight, slow corners through the roads of my online neighborhoods. It was then, as cultivated nostalgia fed my senses, that I took my eyes from my screens and to myself, to those weathered roads of memory where the skyline is mostly foggy and the rain is cold enough to sting a bit but light enough to feel like mist. 

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Ohm’s Law

By Debra Kang Dean, Spalding School of Writing Poetry Faculty

For any circuit the electrical current is directly proportional to the voltage and is inversely proportional to the resistance.

As a consequence of my bewilderingly high scores in the electronics section of the battery of tests I had to take before enlisting in the Air Force, I was recruited into the field of ground radio repair. It turned out to be a poor match since I never really got beyond being able to read schematics; I console myself by believing that one need also have mechanical sense to do well, and my scores on that part of the test had been dismal.

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Announcing the Full Line-up of Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, Nov. 16-22

Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series, takes place Saturday, November 16, through Friday, November 22, with faculty and alumni of the low-residency programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Bestselling graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang headlines the festival as Distinguished Visiting Writer. Yang is the author of the Printz Award-winning American Born Chinese and the National Book Award Finalist Boxers & Saints, a boxed set of graphic novels. Yang has served as a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

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Listening for the Echo: Translating Alí Calderón’s “Democracia Mexicana”

Jeremy Paden, Spalding School of Writing Translation Faculty

A popular internet list in recent years is the top 10 most beautiful but untranslatable words. 侘寂, wabi-sabi, beautiful imperfection in Japanese. Tartle, Scottish for the hesitation caused by forgetting someone’s name when in the middle of introducing them. The German word Verschlimmbessern, making something worse while trying to fix it. These lists go on and on.

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“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
programs.

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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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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