Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Visiting Writers for 2012

The Ashland University MFA Program is proud to announce its visiting writer lineup for summer 2012.  The following visiting writers will be on the Ashland University campus during the MFA program's residency July 28 through August 10, 2012.

Eula Biss

Eula Biss is the author of The Balloonists and Notes from No Man’s Land.  Her work has recently been recognized by a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa and teaches nonfiction writing at Northwestern University.  Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Best Creative Nonfiction, The Believer, Gulf Coast, and Harper’s.


Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III grew up in mill towns on the Merrimack River along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. He began writing fiction at age 22 just a few months after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Because he prefers to write in the morning, going from “the dream world to the dream world”, as the Irish writer Edna O'Brien puts it, he took mainly night jobs: bartender, office cleaner, halfway house counselor, and for six months worked as an assistant to a private investigator/bounty hunter. Over the years he's also worked as a self-employed carpenter and college writing teacher.
Andre Dubus III is the author of a collection of short fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Last Days, a New York Times bestseller. His memoir, Townie, was published in February 2011 with W.W. Norton & Co. His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994, The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and The Best of Hope Magazine. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and was a Finalist for the Rome Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters.
An Academy Award-nominated motion picture and published in twenty languages, his novel House of Sand and Fog was a fiction finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Booksense Book of the Year, and was an Oprah Book Club Selection and #1 New York Times bestseller. A member of PEN American Center, Andre Dubus III has served as a panelist for The National Book Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he is a full-time faculty member. He is married to performer Fontaine Dollas Dubus. They live in Massachusetts with their three children.

Garrett Hongo
Garrett Hongo
Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawai`i and grew up on the North Shore of O`ahu and in Los Angeles.  He was educated at Pomona College, the University of Michigan, and UC Irvine, where he received an M.F.A.  His work includes three books of poetry, three anthologies, and Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai`i.  He is the editor of The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (Anchor) and Under Western Eyes: Personal Essays from Asian America (Anchor).  Poems and essays of his have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, APR, Honolulu Weekly, Amerasia Journal, Virginia Quarterly Review, Raritan, and the LA Times.  Among his honors are the Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA grants, and the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His latest book of poetry, Coral Road, was published by Knopf in Fall 2011.  He is presently at work on a book of non-fiction entitled The Perfect Sound: An Autobiography in Stereo.  He teaches at the University of Oregon, where he is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences.

Laura Kasischke
Laura Kasischke
Laura Kasischke has published eight collections of poetry (most recently Space, in Chains, Copper Canyon Press) and eight novels, including two which have been made into feature length films.  She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Michigan, and lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Residency Recap

In case you missed out on this year's MFA residency at Ashland University, several of the readings and craft seminars were recorded.  Visit the links below to hear presentations by MFA faculty and visiting writers.

Visiting Writer Presentations, including readings and craft seminars by Thomas French, Kathleen Norris, David Wojahn, Todd Boss, Thomas Larson, and Michael Steinberg

Faculty Presentations, including readings and craft seminars by Peter Campion, Jill Christman, Bob Cowser, Angie Estes, Deborah Fleming, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Steven Harvey, Stephen Haven, Mark Irwin, Joe Mackall, Leila Philip, Robert Root, Ruth L. Schwartz, Peter Trachtenberg, and Kathryn Winograd

Congratulations are due to the nineteen graduating students of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Ashland University!  The following students defended thesis manuscripts at the summer residency July 24-August 5.

Amelia Berg, Creative Nonfiction - "Para los Niños"
Marilyn Bousquin, Creative Nonfiction - "Searching for Salt: A Memoir"
Varale Goodman, Creative Nonfiction - "Death and Other Transformations"
Joan Hanna, Poetry - "Phoenix"
Detrick Hughes, Poetry - "Sugar-Tooth Confession"
Kimberlee Jackson, Poetry - "Walking Fire"
Erin Joyce, Creative Nonfiction - "The Song of Eirinn"
Jon Kerstetter, Creative Nonfiction - "I Am Soldier, I Am Doctor"
Emily Lees, Creative Nonfiction - "My Hands Are Your Hands"
Nancy Leinbach, Creative Nonfiction - "GETTING TWO YEARS TWICE: Circa La Mia Vita"
Dave MacWilliams, Creative Nonfiction - "Acts of Grace: A Memoir"
Erica Meuser, Poetry - "In America's Wake: Mother and Sons"
Kerry Noble, Poetry - "Stages"
Rachel Peterson, Poetry - "Burn"
Nicole Robinson, Poetry - "Wingspan"
Ginny Taylor, Creative Nonfiction - "The Undrowning"
Laurel Thome, Poetry - "FORCE = MASS X ACCELERATION"
Marci Vogel, Poetry - "Millennial Triptych"
David Wright, Poetry - "Several Heads: A Triptych"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Today's Events:

All posted events are located in the Schar College of Education Ronk Lecture Hall, Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and are free and open to the public.


1 p.m. - Craft Seminar with David Wojahn

About the Presenter:

David Wojahn

David Wojahn
David Wojahn, visiting writer in poetry, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1953, and educated at the University of Minnesota and the University of Arizona. His first collection, Icehouse Lights, was chosen by Richard Hugo as a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, and published in 1982. The collection was also the winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Book Award. His second collection, Glassworks, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1987, and was awarded the Society of Midland Authors’ Award for best volume of poetry to be published during that year. Pittsburgh is also the publisher of four of his subsequent books, Mystery Train (1990), Late Empire (1994), The Falling Hour (1997) and Spirit Cabinet (2002). Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004, published by Pittsburgh in 2006, was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library. His newest collection, World Tree, was published by Pittsburgh in February 2011.


He is also the author of a collection of essays on contemporary poetry, Strange Good Fortune (University of Arkansas Press, 2001), and editor (with Jack Myers) of A Profile of 20th Century American Poetry (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991), and two posthumous collections of Lynda Hull’s poetry, The Only World (HarperCollins, 1995) and Collected Poems (Graywolf, 2006). He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Illinois and Indiana Councils for the Arts, and in 1987-88 was the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholar. He has taught at a number of institutions, among them Indiana University, the University of Chicago, the University of Houston, the University of Alabama, and the University of New Orleans. He is presently Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is also a member of the program faculty of the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Today's Events:

All posted events are located in the Schar College of Education Ronk Lecture Hall, Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and are free and open to the public.


1 p.m. Craft Seminar: "The Facts of the Matter" with Sonya Huber and Peter Trachtenberg

7 p.m. Reading by David Wojahn

About the Presenters:

Sonya Huber
Sonya Huber
Sonya Huber is the author of two books of creative nonfiction, Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2010), finalist for the 2010 Grub Street National Book Prize in Nonfiction, and Opa Nobody (University of Nebraska Press, 2008), shortlisted for the Saroyan Prize. She has also written a textbook, The Backwards Research Guide for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration (Equinox Publishing, forthcoming). Her work has been published in literary journals and magazines including Fourth Genre, Passages North, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Washington Post Magazine, in other journals and in many anthologies. She teaches in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University

Peter Trachtenberg

Peter Trachtenberg

Peter Trachtenberg, creative nonfiction, joined the MFA faculty in January 2011. He is the author of 7 Tattoos: A Memoir in the Flesh (Penguin, 1998) and The Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning (Little, Brown and Co., 2008). The latter book is the winner of the 2009 Phi Beta Kappa Emerson Award for studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity. His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, BOMB, A Public Space, and The New York Times Travel Magazine. He has been the recipient of a Whiting Award, a writer’s fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction. He is a 2010-11 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
David Wojahn

David Wojahn
David Wojahn, visiting writer in poetry, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1953, and educated at the University of Minnesota and the University of Arizona. His first collection, Icehouse Lights, was chosen by Richard Hugo as a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize, and published in 1982. The collection was also the winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Book Award. His second collection, Glassworks, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1987, and was awarded the Society of Midland Authors’ Award for best volume of poetry to be published during that year. Pittsburgh is also the publisher of four of his subsequent books, Mystery Train (1990), Late Empire (1994), The Falling Hour (1997) and Spirit Cabinet (2002). Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004, published by Pittsburgh in 2006, was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the O. B. Hardison Award from the Folger Shakespeare Library. His newest collection, World Tree, was published by Pittsburgh in February 2011.


He is also the author of a collection of essays on contemporary poetry, Strange Good Fortune (University of Arkansas Press, 2001), and editor (with Jack Myers) of A Profile of 20th Century American Poetry (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991), and two posthumous collections of Lynda Hull’s poetry, The Only World (HarperCollins, 1995) and Collected Poems (Graywolf, 2006). He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Illinois and Indiana Councils for the Arts, and in 1987-88 was the Amy Lowell Traveling Poetry Scholar. He has taught at a number of institutions, among them Indiana University, the University of Chicago, the University of Houston, the University of Alabama, and the University of New Orleans. He is presently Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is also a member of the program faculty of the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today's Events:

All posted events are located in the Schar College of Education Ronk Lecture Hall, Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and are free and open to the public.


7 p.m. - Reading by Todd Boss, Tom Larson, and Michael Steinberg

About the Presenters:

Todd Boss

Todd Boss
Todd Boss, visiting editor in poetry, grew up on an 80-acre cattle farm in Wisconsin, which is the setting for his debut poetry collection, Yellowrocket (Norton, 2008). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Best American Poetry, and The New Yorker. His second collection, Pitch, will be published by W. W. Norton in Winter 2012. He is the co-founder of Motionpoems, a poetry film initiative. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he is the poet laureate of Nina's Cafe. More information about Todd Boss is available on his website, http://www.toddbosspoet.com/.

Thomas Larson

Thomas Larson, visiting editor in creative nonfiction, is the author of The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” and The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative, Ohio University Press / Swallow Press, now in its third printing. He teaches, lectures, and holds workshops on memoir writing throughout the United States.



Thomas Larson

Larson writes personal essays, memoir, feature articles, book reviews, and literary criticism. For the last twelve years, he has been a contributing writer for the weekly San Diego Reader where he specializes in investigative journalism, narrative nonfiction, and profiles.

His writing has appeared in numerous reviews and journals, among them Tampa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Antioch Review, Fourth Genre, Amazon.com/Shorts, the Anchor Essay Annual: The Best of 1997, Contrary Magazine online (where he does quarterly book reviews), and New Letters (where his memoir, "Mrs. Wright’s Bookshop," won the journal’s Reader’s Award for the Essay in 2008).

His web site is www.thomaslarson.com.


Michael Steinberg


Michael Steinberg
Michael Steinberg, visiting editor in creative nonfiction, has written and edited five books, and his essays and memoirs have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. In 2004, ForeWord Magazine chose Still Pitching as the Independent Press Memoir of the Year. The Association of American University Presses also listed it in “Books Selected for School Libraries.”

Other titles include Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs From Michigan—a finalist for both the 2000 ForeWord Magazine Independent Press Anthology of the Year and the 2000 Great Lakes Book Sellers Award; and an anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, co-edited with Robert Root, now in its sixth edition.

Steinberg has been a guest writer at many colleges and universities and at several national and international writers’ conferences, including the Prague Summer Writing Program, the Paris Writers’ Conference, The Kachemak Bay/Alaska Writers’ Conference, the Geneva Writers’ Conference, Writers in Paradise, and the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, among others. Currently, he is writer-in-residence at the Solstice/Pine Manor low-residency MFA program.

His website is http://www.mjsteinberg.net/.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today's Events:


All posted events are located in the Schar College of Education Ronk Lecture Hall, Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and are free and open to the public.

1 p.m. Craft Seminar with Kathleen Norris
 
7 p.m. MFA Faculty Reading with Leila Philip, Mark Irwin, and Angie Estes
 
About the Presenters:
 
Angie Estes

Angie Estes
Angie Estes, poetry, is the author of four books, most recently Tryst (Oberlin College Press, 2009), which was selected as one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Her previous book, Chez Nous, also from Oberlin, appeared in 2005. Her second book, Voice-Over (Oberlin College Press, 2002), won the 2001 FIELD Poetry Prize and was also awarded the 2001 Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her first book, The Uses of Passion (1995), was the winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including TriQuarterly, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Boston Review, and Slate, and in the anthologies Gondola Signore Gondola: Venice in 20th Century American Poetry (Supernova Edizioni, Venezia, 2007), Contemporary Poetry in the United States: A Bilingual English-Cyrillic Edition (Russia: OGI Press, 2007), Evensong: Contemporary American Poets on Spirituality (Bottom Dog Press, 2006), The Extraordinary Tide: New Poetry by American Women (Columbia University Press, 2001), and The Geography of Home: California and the Poetry of Place (Heyday Press, 1999). Her essays have appeared in FIELD, Lyric Poetry Review, Children’s Literature, Christianity and Literature, Little Women: Norton Critical Edition, and in Every Passing Breath: Contemporary Poets Respond to the Psalms.


The recipient of many awards, including a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has received fellowships, grants, and residencies from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the California Arts Council, the MacDowell Colony, and the Ohio Arts Council. Estes received her Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Oregon and was for several years Professor of American Literature and Creative Writing at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Most recently, she has taught creative writing at Oberlin College, at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and at The Ohio State University. She is also a contributing editor for the literary magazine The Journal.

Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin
Mark Irwin, poetry, was born in Faribault, Minnesota, and has lived throughout the United States and abroad in France and Italy. His poetry and essays have appeared widely in many literary magazines including The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, New England Review, and the New Republic. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (M.F.A.), he also holds a Ph.D. in English/Comparative Literature and has taught at a number of universities and colleges including Case Western Reserve, the University of Iowa, Ohio University, the University of Denver, the University of Colorado/Boulder, the University of Nevada, and Colorado College.


The author of six collections of poetry, including The Halo of Desire (Galileo Press, 1987), Against the Meanwhile (Wesleyan University Press, 1989), Quick, Now, Always (BOA , 1996), White City (BOA, 2000), Bright Hunger (BOA, 2004), and Tall If (New Issues, 2008), he has also translated two volumes of poetry, one from the French and one from the Romanian. Recognition for his work includes The Nation/Discovery Award, four Pushcart Prizes, National Endowment for the Arts, Colorado and Ohio Art Council Fellowships, two Colorado Book Awards, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the Fulbright, Lilly, and Wurlitzer Foundations. He lives in Colorado, and Los Angeles, where he teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Kathleen Norris

Kathleen Norris
Kathleen Norris, visiting writer in creative nonfiction, is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington.


Kathleen Norris has published seven books of poetry. Her first book of poems was entitled Falling Off and was the 1971 winner of the Big Table Younger Poets Award. Soon after, she settled down in her grandparents’ home in Lemmon, South Dakota, where she lived with her husband, the poet David Dwyer, for over twenty-five years. The move was the inspiration for the first of her nonfiction books, the award-winning bestseller Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was selected as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal.

Her next book, The Cloister Walk, is structured as a diary of her monastic experience interspersed with meditations on virgin saints, Emily Dickinson, celibacy, loneliness, monogamy, and a hymnist of the early church, Ephrem of Syria. Her book Amazing Grace continues her theme that the spiritual world is rooted in the chaos of daily life. Her book, The Virgin of Bennington, is a continuous narrative in which she shares the period of her life before Dakota. Other books include Journey: New and Selected Poems, and Little Girls in Church.

Kathleen Norris is the recipient of grants from the Bush and Guggenheim Foundations. Her new book, entitled Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life, was published in September 2008. It is a study of acedia, the ancient word for the spiritual side of sloth. She examines the topic in the light of theology, psychology, monastic spirituality, and her own experience.

Widowed in 2003, Kathleen Norris now resides in Hawaii, where she volunteers at her local Episcopal Church. She travels to the mainland regularly to speak to students, medical professionals, social workers, and chaplains at colleges and universities, as well as churches and teaching hospitals.
Leila Philip

Leila Philip
Leila Philip, creative nonfiction, joined the MFA faculty in January 2011. She is the author of A Family Place (SUNY, 2009) and The Road Through Miyama (Random House, 1989), which won the PEN 1990 Martha Albrand Citation for Nonfiction. She has received awards for her writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Today's Events:

All posted events are located in the Schar College of Education Ronk Lecture Hall, Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and are free and open to the public.


1 p.m. - “A New Lyric: On the ‘I’ and ‘You’ and Subjectivity” with Carmen Giménez Smith
 
7 p.m. - Reading by Kathleen Norris


About the Presenters:

Carmen Giménez Smith

Carmen Gimenez Smith
Carmen Giménez Smith has joined the MFA faculty in poetry. She is assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University, publisher for Noemi Press and Editor-in-Chief of Puerto del Sol. She is the author of the poetry collections Odalisque in Pieces (University of Arizona, 2009) and Trees Outside the Academy (Center for Literary Publishing, 2011) and the memoir Bring Down the Little Birds (University of Arizona, 2010). She also co-edited, with Kate Bernheimer, the anthology, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (Penguin, 2010). Her work has most recently appeared in Ploughshares, jubilat, A Public Space and Denver Quarterly. She lives in New Mexico with her husband Evan Lavender-Smith and their two children.

Kathleen Norris
Kathleen Norris, visiting writer in creative nonfiction, is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington.

Kathleen Norris has published seven books of poetry. Her first book of poems was entitled Falling Off and was the 1971 winner of the Big Table Younger Poets Award. Soon after, she settled down in her grandparents’ home in Lemmon, South Dakota, where she lived with her husband, the poet David Dwyer, for over twenty-five years. The move was the inspiration for the first of her nonfiction books, the award-winning bestseller Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was selected as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal.


Kathleen Norris

Her next book, The Cloister Walk, is structured as a diary of her monastic experience interspersed with meditations on virgin saints, Emily Dickinson, celibacy, loneliness, monogamy, and a hymnist of the early church, Ephrem of Syria. Her book Amazing Grace continues her theme that the spiritual world is rooted in the chaos of daily life. Her book, The Virgin of Bennington, is a continuous narrative in which she shares the period of her life before Dakota. Other books include Journey: New and Selected Poems, and Little Girls in Church.

Kathleen Norris is the recipient of grants from the Bush and Guggenheim Foundations. Her new book, entitled Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life, was published in September 2008. It is a study of acedia, the ancient word for the spiritual side of sloth. She examines the topic in the light of theology, psychology, monastic spirituality, and her own experience.

Widowed in 2003, Kathleen Norris now resides in Hawaii, where she volunteers at her local Episcopal Church. She travels to the mainland regularly to speak to students, medical professionals, social workers, and chaplains at colleges and universities, as well as churches and teaching hospitals.

Meet the Team

We're very pleased to introduce our spring 2018 Ashland MFA Faculty. We hope you're as excited about these names as we ar...