The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College congratulates former faculty member Louise Glück on receiving the 2020 Nobel Award in Literature.  Glück taught in our program during its initial four years at Goddard College (1976-1980), and taught intermittently during the Program’s first decade at Warren Wilson. She has also taken part in subsequent anniversary celebrations.

Program founder Ellen Bryant Voigt offers the following in celebration of Glück’s honor:

What a wonderful day for poetry!  Although the world of commerce does not always get it right, this time it did.  Louise has given us both her vibrant, indelible poems, and her example: her utter and unsentimental commitment to the highest standards for the form, pushing past any particular achievement (and there have been many). As usual, Louise articulates it best:

Worldly honor makes existence in the world easier….. But as an emblem of what I want – it is not capable of being had in my lifetime. I want to live after I die, in that ancient way.  And there’s no way of knowing whether that will happen, and there will be no knowing, no matter how many blue ribbons have been plastered to my corpse.

And the bonus is that this choice has happened when we are most in need of the stringencies and reach of great art.

In English, “glück” with its distinctive umlaut, translates as “good luck,” and it was indeed lucky that Louise taught at Goddard in our pioneering low-residency Program for Writers, and, with Ben and Betty Holden, was instrumental in moving the Program to Warren Wilson College.   More, then, than luck—the Nobel choice has been a gift to Louise’s readers, current and future.

 

Friends of Writers thanks the generous donors who continue to support our goals of fostering new and vital literary voices If you would like to contribute the work of Friends of Writers, please click on the blue donate on the sidebar to the right.

View the 2019 donor list HERE!

And please support our Fall 2020 fundraising campaign.

                                                                                                       

A Letter from FOW board president Abby Wender (poetry ’08)

Fall 2020

Ellen Bryant Voigt’s lyric masterpiece, Kyrie, published in 1995, recounts events in a small town during the 1918-20 influenza pandemic. Ellen remarks that the paradox at the heart of the book, which also speaks to us at this moment, is that “the very things we need most—nearness, proximity, and community—spread the disease.” This fall our goal is to raise the final $25,000 to fully endow the Ellen Bryant Voigt Scholarship Fund. We are so close! With your help we will be able to grant the first award in early 2021 to a student completing a first manuscript. We ask that you join us in contributing whatever you can to meet our financial goal. 

Like many organizations this year, we have been presented with new challenges by the coronavirus. One example of our community’s creative response took hold in April, when Friends of Writers announced it would offer eight emergency Covid-19 grants of $500. Due to a spontaneous outpouring of additional support, we were able to fund all twenty-seven applicants.  In another example, volunteers converted the alumni conference from on-ground to virtual in just two short months (it was to be held in 2020 at Mount Holyoke, and hopefully will be there in 2021). Although we could not gather in person, more than a hundred participants met, attended readings, panels, caucuses, workshops—and hung out together on a virtual “porch.” These are just two illustrations showing us how the thing we need most—a vibrant community—thrives and expands, even in hard times. We know of no better way to acknowledge Ellen’s remarkable legacy than to fulfill the scholarship fund created in her name. We thank all of you who may have already given to our Fall Appeal, and I am writing to ask that if you have not yet given, you make a donation today. 

Sadly, the crisis we are facing won’t abate quickly, and the needs of our fellow writers—both students and alums–will grow this year. Friends of Writers remains committed to helping writers meet their potential through graduate study and also through providing support and resources via its website, multiple reading series, a contest, and the yearly conference. We support diversity and inclusivity through our scholarships and internships. We intend to make it possible for every writer to pursue graduate study in spite of financial disparity.  All of our scholarship grants are need-based. 

Most contributors to Friends of Writers are writers, too. I hope you’ll join—with a donation of any amount—the individuals with whom you share this path, so that together we can reach the goal of fully endowing the EBV scholarship. You can donate online at friendsofwriters.org, or mail in your donation using the enclosed card and envelope. Every donation is meaningful. 

In nearness and community, and with best wishes for your well-being,

Abigail Wender

President, Friends of Writers

PS: Looking for inspired thinking from brilliant writers? Download an audio lecture from our store: https://store.friendsofwriters.org/

Sweet are the songs of bitterness and blame,
against the stranger spitting on the street,
the neighbor’s shared contaminated meal,
the rusted nail, the doctor come too late.
 
Sweet are the songs of envy and despair,
which count the healthy strangers that we meet
and mark the neighbor’s illness mild and brief,
the birds that go on nesting, the brilliant air.
 
Sweet are the songs of wry exacted praise,
scraped from the grave, shaped in the torn throat
and sung at the helpful stranger on the train,
and at the neighbor’s misery brought near,
and at the waters parted at our feet,
and to the god who thought to keep us here.
 
 
                                 —Ellen Bryant Voigt, from Kyrie

It’s that time of year again: the Program is seeking your updates to the Alumni Bibliography—which currently lists 800+ alum publications! In addition to being a point of pride and a source for your reading pleasure, the MFA Program uses the list for accreditation purposes and for recruitment.

You can always view the alumni list here: https://www.wwcmfa.org/alumni-bibliography/


Please help us keep this list as complete as possible by uploading your new publication information through a form on the site: https://docs.google.com/a/smith.edu/forms/d/1YazT-pftQh3Syg9q34Iesy26vqqsQDWAP11dFdeos1U/viewform 

The form will ask for your: 

  • first name
  • last name
  • the year in which you graduate
  • the genre in which you graduate
  • whether you graduated from Warren Wilson or Goddard
  • the name of your book
  • the name of your publisher
  • the year of publication

And specify novel, short fiction, novella, book of poems, chapbook, anthology (of which you were editor), translated poetry, translated fiction, or “other” (explain)

Please also share any additional information regarding awards the publication received. 

Thanking you in advance, 

Patrick Donnelly

Poetry 2003 

Dear Community, 

Thanks to the many generous donations given to help support those in our MFA family who applied for FOW COVID -19 grants, the Friends of Writers’ board was able to expand the number of grants we could offer so that every applicant could receive $500.00. We are deeply moved by our community’s outpouring of support during this difficult time.

Without the support of our donors and board, Friends of Writers would not be able to do the work that we do. Thank you, all.

Stay safe, 

Abby

Abigail Wender

President, Friends of Writers

As discussed in an earlier post, we are aware that the lives of some members of our alumni and faculty community have been seriously disrupted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

While FOW’s first obligation is to provide scholarships, we are offering a small measure of help in the form of $500 emergency assistance grants. Four grants have been allocated in April. Thanks to generous gifts from our community earmarked for this purpose, we’re able to expand this program to 14 additional $500 grants, seven to be allocated in May and seven more in June. These grants are only available to MFA Program for Creative Writing (Goddard and Warren Wilson) alumni and faculty.

If the pandemic has put you in dire financial straits, you can apply for one of the seven $500 May grants simply by emailing [email protected] with your full name and contact information, including your mailing address. 

We cannot possibly judge your needs. If you’re in serious need, simply apply—no explanation necessary. Names submitted no later than May 30th will be included in the May cycle. Each person who applies will be assigned a number, and on May 31, seven will be selected via a random number generator. No bias, and no judgment; just the luck of the draw. Names submitted but not selected in April will be included in the random draw, and names submitted but not selected in May will be forwarded to the June round to be considered along with new applicants. We’ll publish a reminder in early June for that month’s cycle. Please note: this is a one-time gift per recipient/recipient’s family. 

With all best wishes for your health and safety,

The Friends of Writers Board

As discussed in an earlier post, we are aware that the lives of some members of our alumni and faculty community have been seriously disrupted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

While FOW’s first obligation is to provide scholarships, we are offering a small measure of help in the form of $500 emergency assistance grants. Four grants have been allocated in April. Thanks to generous gifts from our community earmarked for this purpose, we’re able to expand this program to 14 additional $500 grants, seven to be allocated in May and seven more in June. These grants are only available to MFA Program for Creative Writing (Goddard and Warren Wilson) alumni and faculty.

If the pandemic has put you in dire financial straits, you can apply for one of the seven $500 May grants simply by emailing [email protected] with your full name and contact information, including your mailing address. 

We cannot possibly judge your needs. If you’re in serious need, simply apply—no explanation necessary. Names submitted no later than May 30th will be included in the May cycle. Each person who applies will be assigned a number, and on May 31, seven will be selected via a random number generator. No bias, and no judgment; just the luck of the draw. Names submitted but not selected in April will be included in the random draw, and names submitted but not selected in May will be forwarded to the June round to be considered along with new applicants. We’ll publish a reminder in early June for that month’s cycle. Please note: this is a one-time gift per recipient/recipient’s family. 

With all best wishes for your health and safety,

The Friends of Writers Board

As discussed in an earlier post, we are aware that the lives of some members of our alumni and faculty community have been seriously disrupted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

While FOW’s first obligation is to provide scholarships, we are offering a small measure of help in the form of $500 emergency assistance grants. Four grants have been allocated in April. Thanks to generous gifts from our community earmarked for this purpose, we’re able to expand this program to 14 additional $500 grants, seven to be allocated in May and seven more in June. These grants are only available to MFA Program for Creative Writing (Goddard and Warren Wilson) alumni and faculty.

If the pandemic has put you in dire financial straits, you can apply for one of the seven $500 May grants simply by emailing [email protected] with your full name and contact information, including your mailing address. 

We cannot possibly judge your needs. If you’re in serious need, simply apply—no explanation necessary. Names submitted no later than May 30th will be included in the May cycle. Each person who applies will be assigned a number, and on May 31, seven will be selected via a random number generator. No bias, and no judgment; just the luck of the draw. Names submitted but not selected in April will be included in the random draw, and names submitted but not selected in May will be forwarded to the June round to be considered along with new applicants. We’ll publish a reminder in early June for that month’s cycle. Please note: this is a one-time gift per recipient/recipient’s family. 

With all best wishes for your health and safety,

The Friends of Writers Board

Friends of Writers offering $500.00 emergency grants in response to COVID-19

We fear that some members of our alumni and faculty community have found their lives seriously disrupted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While our first obligation is to provide scholarships, the Board would like to offer a small measure of economic relief in the form of eight total $500 emergency assistance grants. These grants will be issued in two application cycles: the first four grants in April, and the second four in July. These grants are only available to MFA Program for Creative Writing (Goddard and Warren Wilson) alumni and faculty.

We recognize that these grants will not resolve major financial hardship, but we hope they can serve as a stop-gap measure for some members of our community who are in need. If the pandemic has put you in dire financial straits, you can apply for one of the eight $500 grants simply by emailing [email protected] with your name and contact information. 

We cannot possibly judge your needs. If you are in serious need, simply apply—no explanation necessary. Names submitted no later than April 20th will be included in the April cycle. The deadline for the July cycle will be announced in June. Each applicant will be assigned a number, and on April 21 four recipients will be selected via a random number generator. No bias and no judgment—just the luck of the draw. Names not selected will be forwarded to the next round to be considered along with new applicants. 

Please note: this is a one-time gift per recipient/recipient’s family. 

With all best wishes for your health and safety,

The Friends of Writers Board

Friends of Writers offering $500.00 emergency grants in response to COVID-19

We fear that some members of our alumni and faculty community have found their lives seriously disrupted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While our first obligation is to provide scholarships, the Board would like to offer a small measure of economic relief in the form of eight total $500 emergency assistance grants. These grants will be issued in two application cycles: the first four grants in April, and the second four in July. These grants are only available to MFA Program for Creative Writing (Goddard and Warren Wilson) alumni and faculty.

We recognize that these grants will not resolve major financial hardship, but we hope they can serve as a stop-gap measure for some members of our community who are in need. If the pandemic has put you in dire financial straits, you can apply for one of the eight $500 grants simply by emailing [email protected] with your name and contact information. 

We cannot possibly judge your needs. If you are in serious need, simply apply—no explanation necessary. Names submitted no later than April 20th will be included in the April cycle. The deadline for the July cycle will be announced in June. Each applicant will be assigned a number, and on April 21 four recipients will be selected via a random number generator. No bias and no judgment—just the luck of the draw. Names not selected will be forwarded to the next round to be considered along with new applicants. 

Please note: this is a one-time gift per recipient/recipient’s family. 

With all best wishes for your health and safety,

The Friends of Writers Board