“Be the best literary citizen you can be.”

J.C. Sevcik has written a response to “the Insensitive, Shit-Stirring Rant” (his words) by Ryan Boudinot a week and a half ago. Which, you know, big deal — a lot of us wrote responses. But Sevcik’s is interesting because it appears in the same publication, The Stranger, that published Boudinot’s offensive listicle ten days ago (and followedContinue reading ““Be the best literary citizen you can be.””

Things I Can Say About Ryan Boudinot Now That I’ve Read His Essay

There’s this essay making the rounds on my social media. It’s called “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One,” by Ryan Boudinot. I’ve been seeing it for days, shared by friends and former professors, writers  whose work I love, teachers whose work I admire. I’ve been avoidingContinue reading “Things I Can Say About Ryan Boudinot Now That I’ve Read His Essay”

Staying in for National Adjunct Walkout Day

Today was National Adjunct Walkout Day. Or, for those adjunct faculty who couldn’t afford to walk out of their classes, it was National Adjunct Awareness Day. I could have walked out of my class today, but I’ve already missed a couple of days because of my injured hand and since then, I’ve been so focusedContinue reading “Staying in for National Adjunct Walkout Day”

Positive words

So, as promised, I ran the exercise by my basic writing class. In my research class, I took a different track and explained that while the Ferguson situation isn’t exactly within the purview of our class, and they really ought to be addressing this in a sociology class or a criminology class, we are in aContinue reading “Positive words”

Reading from Hagridden at Chemeketa Writes

Yesterday, I drove down I-5 in the rain to Salem, Oregon, where I joined students, faculty, and community members at Chemeketa Community College for their Chemeketa Writes program. They’d invited me to read from my novel Hagridden. Almost a year ago, on November 12, I did almost exactly the same thing, except at the time, HagriddenContinue reading “Reading from Hagridden at Chemeketa Writes”

Writing advice from the very beginning

Today, I was on the campus of Columbus State Community College, where I led a workshop over the life of a writer and my Fourteen Principles for Creative Writers. As with most of my workshops, we had a nice, intimate group, which meant we could have a conversation, and I got to do one of myContinue reading “Writing advice from the very beginning”

Thirteen years ago today

I was driving a two-hour commute to teach a college class. I listened to the news on the radio. At one point I had to pull over on the side of the road just to catch my breath. Later, I passed others who had done the same. When I got to school, I spent halfContinue reading “Thirteen years ago today”

Erasing the grade

Today I found this article in my Facebook newsfeed: “Wellesley Initiates New Grading Policy for First-Year Students.” And it’s about damn time. The idea is to institute “shadow grades,” which means professors will provide traditional letter grades for those students who want to know, but it removes those grades from the institution itself, recording only pass/fail grades onContinue reading “Erasing the grade”

Wanna talk writing? Get possessed by the Lit Demon

The very cool folks over at Cease, Cows have branched out into a new venture and launched a literary community called Lit Demon. Part resource for writers and part online workshop, the site provides “connection, instruction, information, and maybe other -tions we aren’t able to list.” Their workshops include live webinars, one-on-one instruction, and self-paced writing courses, and the rest ofContinue reading “Wanna talk writing? Get possessed by the Lit Demon”

A minor rearranging

Not that this is newsworthy, but I tweaked the website a bit today: now, under the About tab, you’ll find a link to my “Teaching & literary photos” page, which is really just a slideshow. The pix are mostly of me teaching or me at readings, but they’re kind of fun in that some areContinue reading “A minor rearranging”