Friday, August 29, 2008


At the half century mark of life, I decided to go back and earn a masters in creative writing. I had no idea how far behind the bright unfettered minds of today's youth I'd be. It probably takes me twice as long to read a book, twice as long to figure out the campus and where the hell I'm supposed to be, twice as long to get here after getting lost a half dozen times. There are as many ways to get lost between here and DC as there are ways to find it on a map, believe me, I know. With that said, I got through the week. The best thing happened today. A handsome young man, younger than my daughters, sat at my table and the subject of age came up. He guessed me to be 36. "Really!" I said too excitedly. "Well, I was going to guess 32, but the way you responded to the topic, I wasn't sure." I will live off the fumes of his compliment for the rest of the year.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Slice of Wheat with Capote on the Side!

Many of us are familiar with Bread Loaf, that famed 80+ years old writing conference that takes place yearly in Vermont. The sleepy town (I'm assuming it's sleepy, because that's the way most of these towns are...apparently) is the place to be to meet those glittering literati: agents, editors, and writers both experienced and greenhorned.

According to this recent article in the Post, getting into Bread Loaf could be as easy as getting a job at IHOP (not really). A select group of applicants have their tuition covered by working the kitchen and meal hours as...waiters.

What's more, our very own Alan Cheuse once served as part of the wait-staff at Bread Loaf, as did Amy Hempel and Julia Alvarez. And more than one waiter/ess has been said to slip a manuscript to some famous you-know-who along with his or her order of baked potato and chicken almondine. (It's all in the wrist).

Check it out! Perhaps, one day, a student or two from our very own MFA program may have the privilege of saying they left the program to serve...and got their big break.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And Now for Something A Little Different

OK, shameless self-promotion—showing off this new (partying like it's 1999!) website that I or someone like me may have written some sentences for—but in the spirit of seeking out new worldviews and the leading edge of science, which has inspired so many writers over the years, I want to share this thought-provoking article by a certain Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies professor. A longer version is available here.

While I'm at it, this is old, but whatever: according to the NYT, while he's not eliciting arguments from Richard Dawkins, biologist E. O. Wilson is writing a novel fittingly entitled Anthill. I'm looking forward to it. Uh, as soon as I get through the next 9 novels I have to read . . .

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Congrats to Rob Drummond

I've been waiting a little to post this information - mostly because I wasn't sure when the anthology was supposed to come out and because I've been a little busy with the move and getting situated down here in Houston. But now I'm happy to say that the latest New Stories From The South is out and it contains fiction alum Rob Drummond's award winning story "The Unnecessary Man," which received the 2007 Arts and Letters fiction prize judged by Robert Boswell.

I spotted Cliff's post here and it reminded me to bring this up. Cliff also links to a review in the Miami Herald. And fiction alum Art Taylor wrote a nice review of the anthology here.

Drummond's story appears alongside stories by Clyde Edgerton, David James Poissant, Jim Tomlinson, Pickney Benedict, and some other people. And Z.Z. Packer is listed as the guest editor this time around.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ryan Call at NOÖ Journal

NOÖ Journal has named recent Mason alum Ryan Call associate editor—congrats and a big capital-o umlaut to you, Ryan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008



When: Friday August 22 at 6:30pm
Where: Eric and Jen's House
BRING: something to drink
What else: details were sent on the listserv (or email Priyanka if you somehow fell out of the loop)

Why: what else have you got going on? exactly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something that has nothing to do with anything.

The only reason I am posting the link for this recent advice column entry is because an MFA fiction student is the one asking the question.


Rion's Back, Cheryl's Still Gone

See Rion Amilcar Scott, recent GMU MFA graduate, no doubt still charged from his experience at the Pan African Literary Forum this summer in Ghana, read his work at Cheryl's Gone this Thursday August 21. Readings and music begin at 8 pm at Big Bear Cafe, 1700 First Street NW DC.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

congrats to Casey

Nonfiction student Casey Wiley has a new story up at Pindeldyboz. The story is called "Sometime You Have To Cram Your Face Between The Bed And The Wall."

His first fiction take.

(Thanks Mike).