AWP Day 1: trains, brains, and automobiles

I don’t really have much to report from day 1 of AWP, except that Seattle is STUFFED full of writers right now, and we’re not even all here yet. I do want to backtrack and write a bit about my journey up here from┬áPortland, though, because this was my first train ride in the USContinue reading “AWP Day 1: trains, brains, and automobiles”

Where I’ll (probably) be at AWP in Seattle

Whenever I’m lucky enough to go to an academic conference, I always have my students assign me homework. I go because I love the intellectual and social exchanges — hearing so many brilliant panels and literary readings, meeting so many fellow writers and finding so many new publications, and drinking with old friends and colleagues:Continue reading “Where I’ll (probably) be at AWP in Seattle”

Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)

To wrap up my posts about the trip and the research and my book, I thought I’d share some numbers. My trip lasted 10 days, including 2 days of travel. In those 10 days, I visited: 8 specific locations connected with events in my novel 2 wildlife refuges, where I walked 3 trails (I walkedContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)”

Louisiana research trip: the people

In Louisiana, I had the terrific good fortune to meet with some wonderful people. The librarians and staff at the Cameron Parish Library and the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, in particular, deserve more praise than I can offer for their patience and help during my trip. I also am tremendously grateful for the volunteers atContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the people”

Louisiana research trip: the bibliography

People who’ve been reading this blog for years will know the score. Way, WAY back in 2009 (that’s, like, two generations ago in blog years), I started the first draft of my Civil War-era novel set down in Louisiana. And even though the story itself isn’t true, there were so many historical facts and regionalContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the bibliography”

Louisiana research trip: the photos

What follows is a series of photos — just some of the photos I took — from my trip to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. While my book isn’t strictly, solely historical, it is set in a certain historical and regional reality, and what details echo historyContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the photos”

Louisiana research trip: the beginning

A couple of weeks ago, during the last ten days of March, I used the funds from my Oregon Literary Fellowship to travel to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. I stayed in Cameron and travelled all over the region, visiting libraries and wildlife refuges, touring museums andContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the beginning”

Where everybody knows your name

It’s that time of year again: all the cool people are headed to the annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs — my beloved AWP. This year it’s in Boston, another of my favorite conference cities, and once again I’m bummed I can’t make it. I just have to one year leftContinue reading “Where everybody knows your name”

I’ve just received an Oregon Literary Fellowship

I can hardly believe I’m typing this. Every time I look at the letter, which I received in the mail last Thursday, I have to read the first paragraph two or three times just to make sure it’s real. But it’s true: I’ve been awarded an Oregon Literary Fellowship. This is huge news. This is┬ámomentous:Continue reading “I’ve just received an Oregon Literary Fellowship”