Jul ’17 MFA Schedule: Tuesday, July 11th

PUBLIC SCHEDULE

 

Faculty Readings:

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter, 8:15 p.m.

Liam Callanan, Heather McHugh, David Haynes, Paul Otremba, Laura van den Berg

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Jul ’17 MFA Schedule: Sunday, July 9th

PUBLIC SCHEDULE

 

Public Lectures:

11:00 a.m. ROBIN ROMM: “There is No Why Here”

What is resistance when it comes to writing? In an era such as the one we are living through—where we have witnessed a divisive election and now, the systemic erosion of human and civil rights–the temptation is to separate the virtuous from the craven, and live only amongst those who are moral and justice-seeking. But it is worth asking whether this kind of binary is actually fundamentally at odds with a humanitarian worldview. And, as artists, whether it is fundamentally at odds with art.
Imre Kertesz survived the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, only to return to a Hungary
under communist/fascist rule. Surviving all of this, he argues, left him fateless—he had escaped due to an “accident in the machinery of death.” He was left, then, with a heavy burden—the ethical responsibility of being “lucky.” The writing Kertesz gave us cannot be easily categorized—he resisted the term Holocaust, resisted what he felt was the cliché it had become. Instead, he attempts to leave us with something different—a sometimes ironic, always intelligent and wholly unexpected depiction of that era.
What can we, as writers living through an era of dangerous binaries, learn from his body of work and
how can we apply it to the way we write and live?

Texts discussed will include Dossier K, Fateless, and Kaddish for an Unborn Child, all by Kertesz.
Students are encouraged to read Fateless in advance of the residency.

Faculty Readings

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter, 8:15 p.m.

Debra Allbery, Andrea Barrett, Alan Shapiro, Robert Boswell

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Jul ’17 MFA Schedule: Saturday, July 8th

PUBLIC SCHEDULE

Public Lectures:

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter

9:30 a.m. MATTHEW OLZMANN: Aspects of Satire

In our current moment, political humor has surged in popularity. This lecture will focus on how the satirist uses irony, hyperbole, and parody to create a resonant social criticism. Additionally, we’ll consider the traditions of satire, examine a couple leading theories of humor, and think about how the satirical moment is used in work that goes beyond simply telling a joke. Handouts will be provided. Possible texts will include some combination of work by Horace and/ or Juvenal, Nin Andrews, Kevin Young, Patricia Lockwood, Key and Peele, and others.

10:45 a.m. DEBRA SPARK: Finish It, Finish It

What forms can short story closings take? How do endings in life relate, if they do, to endings in fiction? In this lecture, I’ll tell a personal story and offer readings of the final paragraph of three short stories. All four tales “ended,” in some manner in 2016 (simply by concluding or by virtue of being published or anthologized in that year). Though you don’t need to do any reading to follow this lecture, the stories I will be discussing are Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum’s “The Burglar,” which you’ll find in the April 4, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, and Karen Russell’s “The Prospectors” and Daniel O’Malley’s “Bridge,” which you’ll find in the 2016 edition of Best American Short Stories.

Faculty Readings:

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter, 8:15 p.m.

Karen Brennan, Christopher Castellani, Jeremy Gavron, Rodney Jones, Sally Keith

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Jul ’17 MFA Schedule: Friday, July 7th

PUBLIC SCHEDULE

Public Lectures:

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter

9:30 a.m. ROBERT BOSWELL: Dreaming in the Future Tense: A Memoir of Teaching Immigrant Stories While Reading The Lord of the Rings

The appalling xenophobia of the Trump campaign led me to teach a class on immigrant stories; meanwhile, my daughter asked if I could help her, come summer, revise the first thousand pages of a fantasy trilogy. Trump wound up winning the election, and I had to confess that I’d never read a fantasy novel and needed to do some prep work. A strange four months followed, and I think maybe I can forge it into a talk. No reading is required for this lecture since I’m not yet sure what it’s about, but I’ll refer to some or all of the following books, stories, and television shows: Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo; My Antonia, Willa Cather; Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, Stephen Crane; The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz; Arranged Marriage, Chitra Divakaruni; Who’s Irish, Gish Jen; Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Laila Lalami; The Assistant, Bernard Malamud; The Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka, “Jasmine” (the short story, not the novel), Bharati Mukherjee; “The Displaced Person,” Flannery O’Connor; “Displacement,” David Wong Louie; The Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien; and six seasons of Game of Thrones.

10:45 a.m. MAURICE MANNING: The Burning Boy and the Goose Girl: On the Economies of Poetry and Nature

This lecture will examine how poetic creation parallels the “creative economy” of Nature. Both economies are efficient and self-sustaining, and yet both anticipate and provide for subsequent creativity. The focus of this lecture will be to examine how one work of art leads to another—often many years later and in surprising contexts. This lecture will look at poems by Felicia Hemans, Bishop, Hopkins, Heaney, Hardy, and Ransom. Handouts will be provided.

Faculty Readings:

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter, 8:15 p.m.

Brooks Haxton, Debra Spark, Peter Turchi, and a tribute to Thomas Lux

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Jul ’17 MFA Schedule: Thurs., July 6th

PUBLIC SCHEDULE

Faculty Readings: Wed., July 5th, @ 8:15 pm

Canon Lounge, Gladfelter

Stephen Dobyns, Daisy Fried, Matthew Olzmann, Dominic Smith, Sarah Stone

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FOUR MFA FACULTY MEMBERS ON OUR STELLAR READING SERIES

In or near Asheville?  Here’s why you should get up to campus for our readings:

From fiction writer Christopher Castellani:

The slate of evening readings at Warren Wilson is like a “Best-Of” playlist. You sit back and enjoy ten-minute samples of some of the best literary fiction and poetry written by both established and emerging voices. The work is often new or in-progress, available only in that form on that one night, which makes for an exciting sneak preview as well as a window into the process of drafting and revision.
From poet C. Dale Young:
It is a rare thing to have the chance to hear more than 20 acclaimed writers, many of whom have won major book awards and fellowships, read over the span of one week. Every January and July, the greater Asheville area has just such an opportunity with the nightly MFA faculty readings at Warren Wilson.
From fiction writer Andrea Barrett:
Warren Wilson is my favorite place to read, as well as my favorite place to listen to readings. I love the mixture of fiction and poetry, the variety, and the consistent brilliance of my MFA colleagues—that sense, when we’re reading together, that we are all joined in a shared project, blissfully contributing our own little bit to something larger. What a treat, to visit this heavenly snack bar of literary delights!
 
From poet Heather McHugh:
These residency readings are remarkable for casting light on a range of literary arts, and for setting a high bar for performance. There is a scatter of discerning fellow-artists throughout the audience each night to keep all of us percolating, right in the midst of an arts residency’s ten-day exchange of ideas and excitements. Readers and listeners are all artists themselves, gifted across a broad array of modes. That fact contributes to a feeling of ongoing colloquium each evening, a kaleidoscope of contemporary literary figures and tones that resolves, finally, into an incomparable esprit de corps.
Between now and July 14, check here on the blog for the schedule of daily readings and lectures.
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