The Soirée for Scholarships





“Rules” by Laura Moretz

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Alumni News | 0 comments

A story by alum Laura Moretz (fiction, ’15) appears at r.kv.r.y. Quarterly:

By the counter where the nurse gave out B vitamins and detox meds, Deirdre watched two EMTs wheel in a fifty-something man on a stretcher, his skin a scary yellow. Fenwick stepped close. “You’re next, baby,” he said, “if you don’t stop.”

Deirdre wrinkled her nose. Fenwick’s sweet deodorant made her nauseous. The EMTs bumped the gurney over the doorsill and into a room and she wondered if Fenwick—she’d seen him at AA meetings before—was stalking her. A certified recovery counselor, and not much taller than a dwarf, he’d asked her at Hope House, first thing: “Are you one of us?” She’d said, “No,” and he’d been needling her ever since. Deirdre looked toward where the gurney had gone.

“Show’s over,” the charge nurse said.

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“Salt” by Francine Conley

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Alumni News | 0 comments

A poem by alum Francine Conley (poetry, ’14) appears at Juked:

What could I wring from salt, what sweetness, say,
from the anchovies I was forced to stomach as a child
even after I refused.  You eat what’s on your plate
whether you want to or not. Say we eat what we refuse.

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“On Accepting—and Leaving—Mentors” by Jayne Benjulian

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Alumni News | 0 comments

A piece by alum Jayne Benjulian (poetry, ’13) appears at The Agni Blog:

You must know, M— said when I submitted my MFA thesis, the sonnets about your daughter are magnificent. Two of them promptly appeared in a venerable journal. A year later, R— , a publisher, critiqued my manuscript. What might be the most difficult for you is that I suggest taking out all but one of the daughter poems … their inclusion makes for a rather predictable book. I deleted them.

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Congratulations to 2015 MacArthur Fellow Ellen Bryant Voigt!

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Faculty Updates, From the MFA Program | 1 comment

Congratulations to 2015 MacArthur Fellow Ellen Bryant Voigt!

Friends of Writers and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College congratulate Ellen Bryan Voigt, who has been selected to be a 2015 MacArthur Fellow.  The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Ellen Bryant Voigt is a poet whose eight published collections meditate on will and fate and the life cycles of the natural world while exploring the expressive potential of both lyric and narrative elements. Her upbringing on a farm in Virginia and her training as a pianist inform much of her writing, which is notable for its distinctive musical quality. Through her mastery of line and rhythm, she celebrates the grandeur of the poetic form, while her imagery remains rooted in scenes of rural life and close observations of natural phenomena.

Voigt’s earliest books, Claiming Kin (1976) and Forces of Plenty (1983), share an intimate, personal focus and use short-lined stanzas reminiscent of folk ballads and metrical psalms. In Kyrie (1995), she widens her lens to address the influenza pandemic of 1918–19—a historical tragedy with international impact—in a book-length sequence of sonnets spoken by imagined survivors. Voigt’s most recent collection, Headwaters (2013), marks a significant transition in style from her many preceding volumes; she abandons all punctuation and regularity of line length and imbues her verse with a sense of urgency through propulsive phrasing and rapid shifts in tone. Poems titled simply “Owl,” “Cow,” and “Fox” capture a mind in motion, fiercely examining both the instinctive behaviors of animals and our own human dilemmas and attachments.

In addition to her writing, Voigt is a dedicated and influential teacher. In 1976 she created the first low-residency M.F.A. program for writers (originally based at Goddard College and moved to Warren Wilson College in 1981), making rigorous mentorship available to students without relocation to campuses far from their homes. She has also authored two books on the writer’s craft: The Flexible Lyric (1999) and The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song (2009). A poet of sustained excellence and emotional depth, Voigt continues to advance American literary culture through her ongoing experimentation with form and technique.

Ellen Bryant Voigt received a B.A. (1964) from Converse College and an M.F.A. (1966) from the University of Iowa. Her additional collections of poetry include The Lotus Flowers (1987), Two Trees (1992), Shadow of Heaven (2002), and Messenger: New and Selected Poems, 1976–2006 (2007). Since 1981, she has been on the faculty of the M.F.A. program for writers at Warren Wilson College. She taught previously at Iowa Wesleyan College (1966–1969), Goddard College (1970–1978), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979–1982). An elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she also served as the Vermont State Poet from 1999 to 2003 and was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2003 to 2009.


Maud Casey Wins the 2015 St. Francis College Literary Prize

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Faculty Updates | 0 comments

Friends of Writers congratulates faculty member Maud Casey on winning the 2015 St. Francis College Literary Prize for her novel The Man Who Walked Away.

The Man Who Walked Away helped Maud Casey walk away with $50,000 as the winner of the 2015 St. Francis College Literary Prize, one of the richest book prizes in the United States. Casey’s win was announced Saturday night at the Irondale Center during the opening gala for the 10th Annual Brooklyn Book Festival.”

More information can be found online…

“White Noise” by Monica Youn

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Faculty Updates | 0 comments

A poem by faculty member Monica Youn appears at New Republic:

White Noise
Proleptic flinch
of whiteness –
the hunch
of shouldering
into it, stoic
glitch zipping up
its jacket of static-
knit fabric

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“On Floating” by Cynthia Gunadi

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Alumni News | 0 comments

A piece by alum Cynthia Gunadi (fiction, ’15) appears at The Writer’s Room of Boston:

Here are a number of indecisions—if they can be called that—that have plagued me lately. Whether I felt like typing or writing by hand. Whether I needed noise or silence. Whether I should revise an old story or start something new. Whether I should be writing in first person or third. Whether a character, who is still a new acquaintance, used to be a dancer or a piano teacher, and whether she is in fact vegan. Or a sleepwalker. Or seeing ghosts. A week ago, greedy, I borrowed five books from the library, thinking that if I spent some time with each, the Right Next Book would reveal itself to me. I am still bouncing between them, still uncertain which to read.

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“Bodies Are the Strongest Conductors” by James Robert Herndon

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Alumni News | 0 comments

A story by alum James Robert Herndon (fiction, ’11) appears at Strange Horizons:

Lumpy gave me a gift today.

“It’s raining dinosaur piss out here,” he said. “Let me in. Your mom went to work, I saw her get on the bus.”

Mom would find out. She’d cry, which would make me cry, but I had to let him in. Lumpy was my only friend. We were only friends at recess even though he lived down the street, and now that Mom had pulled me out of school on doctor’s orders, I felt lucky to be hearing from him at all.


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You Can Win A Special Edition of this Book at the Soiree!

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in From Friends of Writers | 0 comments

You Can Win A Special Edition of this Book at the Soiree!

SoireeForScholarships-2The silent auction at the Friends of Writers Soiree for Scholarships on October 10 in Minneapolis promises to be out of this world!

Anthony Doerr has just donated a signed, leather-bound edition of All the Light We Cannot See. Only three such editions were made! Thank you, Tony!

And, have you heard about the manuscript reviews going up for auction at the Soiree? You can bid on reviews by Jane Hamilton, Debra Allbery, Eleanor Wilner, Maurice Manning, Margot Livesey, and Monica Youn. Our faculty and alumni are very generous.

Take a peek at what else we’re auctioning: (more…)

Two Poems by Jennifer Givhan

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Alumni News | 0 comments

Two poems by alum Jennifer Givhan (poetry, ’15) appear at Origins:

Leaving Anthony

It wasn’t the sex or the santo candles his mother
still lit in his bedroom like she’d done
all the nights he’d been gone, the habit
unbroken though he’d come home.

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