Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Residency, Week One Events

The Ashland University MFA program summer residency kicks into gear on Sunday, July 25. All craft seminars and readings are free and open to the public. The program begins Sunday afternoon with the opening of an art exhibit in the Coburn Art Gallery (1:30), followed by a craft seminar, "Poetry and the Visual Arts" with Peter Campion, at 2:30. Unless noted, all events are held in the Schar College of Education Building's Ronk Lecture Hall. For more information about the summer residency, visit the MFA program's website: http://www.ashland.edu/graduate/mfa.

Here's the rest of the schedule of events for week one:

Sunday, July 25
1:30-2:30 p.m. - Art Exhibit and Reception, Coburn Art Gallery
2:30-4 p.m. - “Poetry and the Visual Arts” with Peter Campion, Coburn Art Gallery
7 p.m. MFA Program Welcome & Reading by Sonya Huber, CNF, and Kathryn Winograd, Poetry

Monday, July 26
1-2 p.m. - "Lies We Must Tell: The Art of Shaping Creative Nonfiction" with Steven Harvey
6:30-7 p.m. - Thesis Readings: Joe Bastow and Abbey Allerding
7-8 p.m. - Reading - Natasha Trethewey

Tuesday, July 27
1-2:30 p.m. - "'Geography is Fate': Writing about Place and the Intersections of Public and Personal History" with Natasha Trethewey
6:30-7 p.m. - ENG 502 Student Reading - Erin Joyce, Emily Lees, David Wright
7 p.m. - MFA Faculty Reading - Mark Irwin, Poetry, and Bob Cowser, Jr., CNF

Wednesday, July 28
6:30-7 p.m. - ENG 502 Student Reading - Kimberlee Jackson, Kerry Noble, Jon Kerstetter
7 p.m. - MFA Faculty Reading - Ruth Schwartz, Poetry, and Dan Lehman and Jill Christman, CNF

Thursday, July 29
1-2 p.m. - "Lyric + Essay = X: Two Perspectives on Crossing Genres" with Robert Root & Kathryn Winograd
6:30-7 p.m. - Thesis Readings: Amy Campbell and Grace Curtis
7 p.m. - Reading by Richard Jackson and Brenda Miller

Friday, July 30
1-2:30 p.m. - "'The Hermit Crab Essay': Trying on New Forms for Your Personal Story" with Brenda Miller
7 p.m. - Brady Earnhart Concert

Saturday, July 31
10 a.m.-11 a.m. - Richard Jackson: Seminar on first publications of books & poems
11 a.m.-12 p.m. - David Groff: Writing Book Proposals: Preparing Your Platform
1-3 p.m. Ohio Poetry Association Quarterly Meeting, Dauch 105

And stay tuned for week two's events! Or, check out the schedule of events on the Ashland MFA Program's website.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Poetry Student Wins Lettre Sauvage Chapbook Contest


Grace Curtis, soon-to-be graduate in poetry from the Ashland University MFA program, just won the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest for her manuscript, The Surly Bonds of Earth. Stephen Dunn, the judge of the contest, had this to say about Grace's chapbook:

"In Grace Curtis' The Surly Bonds of Earth, we feel in the presence of a voice richly capable of blending image and statement as it explores its various concerns. Behind that voice is an intelligence we learn to trust, and a sense of narrative tact (most evident in "Weeding") as she thinks her way down the page. The 'outer seriousness, inner humor' quality that Frost championed is hers as well. Many pleasures here, many tones."
-- Stephen Dunn

Grace will give a reading from her thesis Thursday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Ashland University Summer Residency program. A complete schedule of events is available on the Ashland University website.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why Ashland? A New Student Shares His Reasons for Choosing the MFA at AU


Jeff Muse, an incoming creative nonfiction student at Ashland University, shared a few words with us about why he chose Ashland over other MFA programs. Thanks for your comments, Jeff!

"I relish Ashland's small cohort size and exclusive focus on creative nonfiction and poetry, mingling the two in the residency and via cross-genre tracks if one so desires. It's not that I don't support diverse writing tracks -- fiction, children's literature, screenwriting and such. I simply prefer a tight circle of like-spirited writers around me. Meeting several Ashland faculty and staff members, talking to alums/students and reviewing its website, including presentations by faculty members and visiting writers, really helped me with this. Ashland folks seem comfortable and confident with their niche, and that makes me feel comfortable and confident as a writer.

"Ashland's faculty appear ideal for my nonfiction interest in memoir, environmental journalism and nature/place-based writing. I also considered [another low-residency program], but found it woefully lacking in customer service, response time and down-to-earth people.

"I appreciate Ashland's reasonable cost (roughly $25K), efficient two-year schedule, online mentoring strategies and its single, in-depth residency in summertime. I've traveled a lot and continue to do so, so I wasn't interested in paying for more travel experiences through a MFA program. My primary interest as a writer is to tell the stories of home (which has changed a bit over the years). I'm less interested in leaving my wife, my family, my habitat. Reading the work of Ashland's faculty members, folks like Bob Cowser and Bob Root, encouraged me to join them. Plus, I talked a good deal about all of this with a writer-friend, Scott Russell Sanders... his questions helped me pinpoint the best fit for me.

Take care! - Jeff"

Kathryn Winograd on Literary Mama


Kathryn Winograd, a member of Ashland MFA program's poetry faculty, has an essay posted on Literary Mama, an online literary journal, this month:

Literary Mama : Creative Nonfiction : Talismans of the Whirlpool
Kathy will be reading as part of the Ashland University Summer Residency Program Welcome Sunday, July 25 at 7 p.m. She will also present a craft seminar with Robert Root, "Lyric + Essay = X: Two Perspectives on Crossing Genre," Thursday, July 29 at 1 p.m. Both events will be held in the Ronk Lecture Hall, Schar College of Education Building at Ashland University.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Peter Campion Wins Larry Levis Prize


MFA Faculty member, Peter Campion, is the winner of the 2010 Larry Levis Reading Prize for his most recent collection of poetry, The Lions.
Peter will be giving a craft seminar on Sunday, July 25 at 2:30 p.m. on "Poetry and the Visual Arts" as part of the Ashland University MFA program's summer residency. The craft seminar will be held in conjunction with the opening of an art exhibit at the Coburn Art Gallery on the campus of Ashland University.
Peter will also give a reading along with Steven Harvey, creative nonfiction faculty member, on Thursday, August 5 in the Ronk Lecture Hall, located in the Schar College of Education Building at Ashland University.