Each trimester, MTSU Write hosts events that nurture the writing community and celebrate
literary life. Check here for updates as events change from season to season.
Poetry in the Boro readings continue monthly. Follow the schedule and learn more
about featured writers here: https://www.facebook.com/PoetryInTheBoro/?fref=ts
Spring Saturdays Series
We launched our Spring Saturdays series with a master class and reading by novelist,
storyteller, essayist, and poet Dorothy Allison, Saturday, February 25, at the MT
Center in the Sam Ingram building on the MTSU campus.
Both Dorothy Allison events are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity
of the Richard and Virginia Peck fund, the MTSU English Department, and the College
of Liberal Arts.
Join us Saturday, March 18, for a master class led by creative non-fiction writer
Susannah Felts, 9-noon in the Sam Ingram Building on the MTSU campus.
Susannah is a fiction writer, freelance writer, teacher, editor, and native Nashvillian.
In 2009, after many years away from her hometown, she returned to put down roots with
her family in East Nashville. In 2014, she cofounded The Porch, a nonprofit center
for the literary arts. Prior to founding The Porch, Susannah taught creative writing
at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
and in several other youth and community workshop settings. Her first novel, "This
Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record," was published in 2008 by Featherproof Books.Susannah has received the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship
in Fiction and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference,
as well as residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative
Arts, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared
in publications such as The Oxford American, Longreads, Literary Hub, The Sun, Quarterly
West, Corium, Redux, Hobart, Five Chapters, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Pindeldyboz.com,
Wigleaf, Quick Fiction, and others. She earned her BA with Highest Honors in Creative
Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and holds an MFA in
Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.Susannah is also a contributing writer for (and ardent fan of) Chapter 16, Humanities Tennessee’s site devoted to literary culture.
“Shaping Your Life Into Story: Creative Nonfiction”
In Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, William Zinsser writes that “Good memoirs are a careful act of construction. We like
to think that an interesting life will simply fall into place on the page. It won’t.”
In this workshop, we’ll first focus on excavating images and moments from our lived
experience that feel charged, or potent as catalysts for narrative. We’ll look at
some examples of powerful true stories, then begin drafting our own through exercises
designed to marry a satisfying sense of structure to our memories. Our focus will
be on working toward completed shorter works: personal essays and flash creative nonfiction,
with some emphasis on writing about family.
Join us Saturday, April 8, for a master class and reading by historical non-fiction
writer Holly Tucker (http://www.holly-tucker.com/ ).
This workshop will provide behind-the-scenes insights into writing nonfiction history
for the general public. Using Tucker’s City of Light as a case study, students will learn strategies for book idea generation, proposal
writing, research, and responsible use of primary resources. The course will be hands-on,
with an emphasis on practical tips for both seasoned and aspiring nonfiction writers.
Participants who register by MARCH 14 will receive a complimentary copy of Tucker's
new book, City of Light, City of Poison, delivered! Registration CLOSES March 21.
Holly Tucker writes about true crime and history. She is author of Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine & Murder in the Scientific Revolution (W.W. Norton), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize and a Times Literary Supplement
Book of the Year. Her next book, City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris
(W.W. Norton) releases at the end of March.
Join us Saturday, April 22, for a master class and reading by poet (and MTSU Write
alum), Tiana Clark, on the MTSU campus 9 am-noon.
Tiana Clark is the author of the poetry chapbook Equilibrium, selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored
by Bull City Press. She is the winner of the 2016 Academy of American Poets Prize
and 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. Tiana is currently an MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University where
she serves as Poetry Editor for Nashville Review. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Sewanee Review, Rattle, Best New Poets 2015, Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review, Southern Indiana
Review, The Adroit Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Thrush Poetry Journal, The Offing, Grist
Journal, The Journal, and elsewhere.
Tiana grew up in Nashville and southern California. She is a graduate of Tennessee
State University where she studied Africana and Women's studies. She has received
scholarships to The Sewanee Writers' Conference, The Frost Place Poetry Seminar, and
The New Harmony Writers Workshop. Tiana has been awarded funding from the Nashville
Metropolitan Arts Commission for her community project, Writing as Resistance, which provides creative writing workshops for trans youth for the Oasis Center.
The Intersection Between the Sacred and the Sexual: Writing Poems about the Body Electric
I believe everything is a metaphor for sex. Lovemaking mimics the act of departure…
Growing up in my church, I wasn’t allowed to talk or ask questions about sex or of
my prepubescent body. It was off limits and considered unladylike. Well, thank God
for poetry, because I have been set free! My poetry evolved when I began unpacking
my religious upbringing by converging the sacred and the sensual, the holy and the
profane. Ranier Maria Rilke said ‘… the artist’s experience lies so unbelievably close
to the sexual, to its pain and its pleasure, that the two phenomena are really just
different forms of one and the same longing and bliss.’ When I decided to stop writing
out of fear, the hesitation began to dissipate when my pen slid across the page.
Sex is boring, or, rather, writing strictly about sex in a poem can be boring. I heard
the poet, Alex Dimitrov, say that it’s what happens before and after, leading up to,
or in another room that makes the subject matter of sex far more interesting for poems
by adding tension and surprise for the reader. Writing a poem that incorporates sex
uses the same craft elements as all poems. For this workshop, I want to show the interconnectedness
of sex and violence and memory and love and death and parents and faith and… Well,
everything! I want to show the multifaceted nature of sex poems, and how these are
handled delicately, bluntly, and indirectly within the thrumming body of a poem. Come
join me as we delve into the poems of Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Marie Howe, Dorothea Lasky,
Rickey Laurentiis, Mary Ruefle, Danez Smith, of course, Sharon Olds.
In Summer 2016 MTSU Write has begun sponsoring free regular public readings in conjunction
with the 'boro Art Crawl. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/PoetryInTheBoro/?fref=ts
Fall 2017 brings the annual Fall Creative Writing Conference. Watch here for details...