Remembering Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Friends of Writers mourns the loss of our colleague, poet Brigit Pegeen Kelly.

Kelly has been a friend, mentor and muse to many in the Warren Wilson family, and social media is filled with reminiscences from many of us who have been inspired by her poetry and her teaching.

Brigit Pegeen Kelly taught with the MFA Program for Writers in 1992 and 1993 and has remained a beloved member of the community since that time. When asked to contribute a gift for 2016’s 40th Anniversary celebration, she selected this lovely bird’s nest…


…found on her farm, a keepsake she’d kept for many years.

Visit the Poetry Foundation website for a full appreciation of her accomplished life: Brigit Pegeen Kelly.  The article includes links to some of her most beloved poems.


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Two poems by Jennifer Givhan

Two poems by alum Jennifer Givhan (poetry, ’15) appear at Queen Mob’s Tea House:


My body he burned          ironing the waxpaper
of my breasts          glue-gunning me papier-mâché

to the smell of arts & crafts in the recreation room
(every room after the recovery room)

like the cumbias of my girlhood dancefloors
flailing like Sunday Mass          Nothing tasted so good

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“Barbie Chang’s Tears” by Victoria Chang

A poem and corresponding essay by alum Victoria Chang (poetry, ’05) appear in Poetry Magazine:

Barbie Chang’s tears are the lights of
              the city that go off on


off on the men walking around the city
              move but Barbie Chang


doesn’t she cannot promote herself if
              she had legs she would


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“Knotted Tongue” by Shadab Zeesht Hashmi

An essay by alum Shadab Zeesht Hasmi (poetry, ’09) appears at 3 Quarks Daily:

Okra, mint and chilies grow in the back and marigolds and roses in the front yard; they’re in my peripheral vision as I bike and study. The seeing is important. Before my grandmother began teaching me and before I owned a student desk with wheels, I didn’t care much for Math. It’s now a ritual: I roll my desk out of my room to the verandah, bring a stack of paper and ask my grandmother to give me Math problems I can solve. I do this after my daily bike ride in the yard. My grandmother reads the newspaper while I work on equations. Occasionally, she shares a news item of interest. Twice I’ve seen her tear up reading about the brutality of the Indian military in Kashmir. She is a Kashmiri. She folds her spectacles and closes her eyes when I ask her for a story; it’s typically the one from the Quran about Moses in a floating basket, how he chose coals over gold, and the knotting of his tongue. There is too much brutality in the world and not enough words. The knotted tongue resonates with me.

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January 2017 faculty announced

The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College is delighted to announce its faculty for the winter 2017 semester:
Debra Allbery (Director)
Dean Bakopoulos
Andrea Barrett
Charles Baxter
Marianne Boruch
Liam Callanan
Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Danielle Evans
Jeremy Gavron
David Haynes
C. J. Hribal
Sandra Lim
Antonya Nelson
Peter Orner
Paul Otremba
Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Martha Rhodes
Alan Shapiro
David Shields
Marisa Silver
Dominic Smith
Megan Staffel
Daniel Tobin
Chase Twichell
Laura van den Berg
Ellen Bryant Voigt
Connie Voisine
Alan Williamson
Eleanor Wilner
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