Monthly Archives: February 2011

Selecting the Cover! And other news. . .


Wordamour is excited to announce that Anthony Haynes, her editor at Professional and Higher, actually asked for her opinion on the cover art for Re-thinking Creative Writing in Higher Education.  They have commissioned a series from a lovely artist, Rika Newcombe which you can see here and which I understand will be used for the covers for the whole creative writing series.  Wordamour will do a reveal when the cover has been selected, but in my opinion, they can’t really go wrong with Newcombe’s work.

You know you’re busy when you promise yourself you can write a blog post if you get a certain amount done.  Right about now, I’m consumed with preparation for our writing project’s hosting of  the NWP Rural Sites Network 2011 Conference coming up in a few weeks.  But it’s chugging along quite well, so that’s good news. 

In other news, Anthony Hayne of Professional and Higher has also started a website/blog called which he envisions as a way for writers and creative writing studies enthusiasts (especially the board and those intensively involved with  Professional and Higher) to post news, calls for papers and other important information.  Check it out, better yet, comment or contribute.

Coming soon, another Golden Baguette Award winner!  Who will it be?

Bye y’all,


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Pedagogy Conversation at FWR, Part Deux

So the second half of our conversation is up on Fiction Writer’s Review.  Check it out here, think on it, comment, pass it on. . .

It would be great if this conversation went viral.

In tandem, I also offer Cathy Day’s blog post, Celebrating and Celebretizing Teaching Creative Writing.  Wise words indeed.

Happy Reading!

Bye y’all,


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Check Out Today’s Post Over at. . .

One of my favorite publications.  Cathy Day, Anna Leahy and I have been working on this conversation essay on teaching creative writing since the fall and FWR decided to publish it to take advantage of AWP buzz.  That and the fact that Cathy Day’s essay over at the Millions has been quite buzz-worthy itself in the last few weeks.

FWR made it look great, check it out here.

Bye y’all



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AWP 2011: Conference Babies

As promised, les enfants des AWP. . .

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(Best conference bag ever: nice, roomy-yet-flat outside pocket for keeping the handy conference planner at your fingertips)

Amazing and overwhelming, all at once. The latter even more than usual, I’m not sure why. Maybe because I got added to a third panel at the last minute, and with 3 panels, a focus group with Bedford St. Martins (that was amazing!), a friend’s book launch, a meeting with my dear friend Mimi Thebo, lunches and dinners with old friends and former students, as well as my birthday, my head was just spinning. In a good way. I suppose.

So the third panel, about reinventing the workshop–I got invited to replace another panelist at the last minute and Charles Baxter was the headliner. Since that’s the only chance I’ll ever have to sit on the same stage as one of my idols (obviously gushing doesn’t embarrass me) I wasn’t going to turn that one down.

Oh, and his talk about the workshop, his paper, was so good, so smart, so lovely, so him. No one else could have written or spoken it. Every time I listen to him read or speak, I wonder, does an unconsidered thought ever come out of his mouth? Ever?

The other panelists were quite good as well, especially those who had been his students. No surprise there, of course.

The panel ran during the very last session on the very last day of the conference (Saturday) and he still filled a decent-sized ballroom. That tells you all you need to know.

Some notes I made. . .

The landscape our students are entering is quite different, there is an urgency to teaching them to make sense of digital media. (From Crossing the Digital Divide)

Sandra Cisneros: “I believe in workshops I just I don’t believe in the academic workshops I believe in the alternative workshop, the community workshop-that’s what we can do for each other—writing is like cutting your own hair there’s only such much you can do before you have to cut the back -the workshop helps you with the back.” (From the We Wanted to Be Writers: Life, Love and Literature at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop panel)

If you’re going to piss people off, you should do it on purpose. (Also from We Wanted to Be Writers)

In the pissing people off category, we learned that AWP is cancelling the Pedagogy Forums for future years, in favor of including more pedagogy in the general panels. Not sure how I feel about this. The Pedagogy Forums open the conference to a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise be funded to go, and they provide a valuable exchange of ideas. Cancelling them completely seems a little extreme. Compromise, anyone?

There were beaucoup babies this year, many more than in the past, which was kind of inspiring, the idea that this might really be becoming a family friendly event. Given my penchant for the pint sized set, I started taking pictures (with their parent’s permission, of course). So the next post will be AWP 2011: Conference Babies.

Stay tuned, y’all,

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Birthday Bestsellers at Biblioz

Today was my first day at AWP 2011 and it’s been a great one, but I’m a little overwhelmed by the universe of creative writing as it’s unfolding (and it’s just the first day-whew) so I’m going to take a day or two to curate my thoughts about the conference.

In the meantime, I have a great new site to share with you, one I’ve been saving for the appropriate time.

Follow this link at Biblioz and you can look up the books that were bestsellers the week and the year you were born. Why is this an appropriate time? It just so happens to be my “birthday week.” Here’s what came up. Like most bestseller lists, there’s a little bit of everything:

Bestsellers Week Ending February 5, 1967
Fiction2 CAPABLE OF HONOR Allen Drury author
Fiction3 VALLEY OF THE DOLLS Jacqueline Susann
Fiction4 THE BIRDS FALL DOWN Rebecca West
Fiction5 THE MASK OF APOLLO Mary Renault
Fiction6 ALL IN THE FAMILY Edwin O’Connor
Fiction7 THE CAPTAINJ an de Hartog
Fiction8 TAI-PAN James Clavell
Fiction9THE FIXER Bernard Malamud
Fiction10 WAITING FOR WINTER John O’Hara
Non-Fiction1 EVERYTHING BUT MONEY Sam Levenson
Non-Fiction2 PAPER LION George Plimpton
Non-Fiction3 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Eric Berne
Non-Fiction4 RUSH TO JUDGMENT Mark Lane
Non-Fiction5 THE JURY RETURNS Louis Nizer
Non-Fiction6 WINSTON S. CHURCHILL Randolph S. Churchill
Non-Fiction7 THE BOSTON STRANGLER Gerald Frank
Non-Fiction8 HOW TO AVOID PROBATE Norman F. Dacey
Non-Fiction9 MADAME SARAH Cornelia Otis Skinner

So what’s on your list?

Bye y’all,

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