I originally wrote this post in 2017, shortly after finishing shooting my feature film Seaside, when I was wading through the long, challenging, and often tedious process of post-production. While the world is struggling to overcome a deadly pandemic, I realize that being stuck in limbo can be a familiar, if challenging, territory for those of us who create. In life and art I often must remind myself that the magic is in the doing and the making; just putting one foot in front of the other each day is essential.
The Spalding School of Writing’s second all-virtual residency kicked off on Saturday with an especially exciting curriculum for our professional writing students, including digital storytelling, the inside scoop on the publishing world, and an exclusive viewing of a performance from Actors Theatre of Louisville. Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing is unique in enhancing graduate professional-writing studies with carefully curated experiential learning in creative writing and exploration of the arts.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.(October 9, 2020)—Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series, announces its fall line-up, featuring readings by faculty of the low-residency programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott makes a special appearance to accept the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature. The festival takes place Tuesday, November 10, through Friday, November 20, as part of the School of Writing’s fall residency, which is being conducted virtually due to Covid-19.
All events take place virtually and are free and open to the public, but you must register separately for each event in order to receive the link to attend. Each session has a unique registration link, listed below.
By Lynnell Edwards, Associate Programs Director, Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing
On good days, mere chaos seems to swirl around us like smoke; on bad days it feels like we are staring down the apocalypse. Everywhere: the body oppressed and rent by violence, the body sickened (by virus, by fire, by flood) the body “distanced” or “essential.” Literature and the arts have always been part of healing in troubled and transitional times, but documentary poetry, with its arc beyond the interiority of the lyric and toward the external realities of the material world, has an especial urgency in these difficult days.
For me, poetry is a balance, or a vacillation, between overthinking a thing until I’ve ground it to dust, and floating on the air, letting the writing happen. One translation of this happens when I try not to think at all, to the extent that that is possible, and write, and then follow that up later by looking at every last detail as I edit.
By Fenton Johnson, Spalding’s School of Creative & Professional Writing, Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Faculty
I spend part of these quiet days imagining how we will be together again. Is it possible that, once shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted, life will resume exactly as before? A dear friend, a Holocaust survivor, once pointed at the news on television and said flatly, “You see these things and you know we have learned nothing.” But I am an American, imbued with American mythology, and cannot so easily let go of the notion that we might learn from experience.
By Nancy McCabe, Creative Nonfiction and Fiction Faculty, Spalding’s School of Creative & Professional Writing
My forthcoming book, Can This Marriage Be Saved? A Memoir, took me thirty years to write. I’m not kidding. It’s not like I was working on it every day for thirty years; I put it aside for long periods. But it didn’t fully take off for me until I embraced approaches I had long resisted, playing with extended metaphors and borrowed forms as shaping devices.
by Douglas Manuel, Spalding’s School of Writing Poetry Faculty
When I moved to the L.A. area in 2013, I didn’t know much about Wanda Coleman. I didn’t know she was known as the “L.A. Blueswoman.” I didn’t know she was the low-key, real, unofficial Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. I didn’t know about her Lenore Marshall Prize. I didn’t know about Mercurochrome being a finalist for the National Book Award. I didn’t know about her coming for Maya Angelou (All love and praise due to Maya Angelou though!) and writing that A Song Flung Up to Heaven “seem[ed] small and inauthentic, without ideas, wisdom or vision.” Honestly, and this hurts me the most to admit, I hadn’t even read a single poem of Coleman’s before she died on November 22, 2013. And even worse, I didn’t even go to her memorial at the downtown L.A. Central Public Library that January of the following year. What a fool I am, what a fool!
Many people want to know, “What does an MFA in Writing at Spalding get me?” So we asked our alums of all ages and from all over the world to help us out.
Forty-eight graduates, 19 men and 29 women, starting with the first class of 2003 to the present, responded to our open question: How did the Spalding MFA in Writing low-residency program impact you professionally, creatively, and personally? Their responses extol and probe both surprising and not surprising reasons to pursue an MFA in general, and a Spalding MFA in particular. Continue reading “WHY DO AN MFA IN WRITING, AND WHY AT SPALDING UNIVERSITY?”→