AWP 2014 Series: Emily Nordling on Genre Wars: SFF at AWP

March 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Emily Nordling, current MAPHer and spec fic writer, wrote the following post for Tor.com (for full post, click on the link below):

ULeguin

Ursula K Le Guin

Ursula Le Guin and Molly Gloss were two of the keynote speakers at last week’s conference for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. I’d never been to the conference before, but I couldn’t help but be surprised; there is a fairly common—and justified—defensiveness among SFF readers and writers when it comes to the mainstream literary world, whether due to its cooption of writers like Kurt Vonnegut and Angela Carter, or to its perpetuation of the high art/low art divide.  » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014 Series: Andy Tybout Interviews Melville House

March 7th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The independent publisher Melville House was founded in 2001, in Hoboken, New Jersey, by Dennis Loy Johnson, a fiction writer and journalist, and his partner Valerie Merians, a sculptor and photographer. Their first two books were an anthology, Poetry After 9/11, and a work of criticism, B.R. Myers’ A Reader’s Manifesto, neither of which were expected to sell well. Shortly before these volumes hit the shelves, The New York Times called the couple’s endeavor “a disaster in the making.”

Fast forward 13 years, and Melville House (now based in Brooklyn) is one of the most celebrated indie publishers in the country, with a catalog encompassing iconoclastic new authors like Tao Lin and Lars Iyer, Nobel-Prize winners like Imre Kertesz and Heinrich Boll, political journalism exposing the Bush administration’s crimes and hypocrisy, novellas by countless canonical writers including Joyce, Kleist, and George Eliot, and underappreciated masterpieces by Mary MacLane, Adolfo Bioy Casares, and Jean Cocteau.

This unlikely transformation can be attributed, in part, to the editors’ good taste, their savviness in fashioning a distinct personal brand, and their ability to stay abreast of changes in the market (they’ve recently begun accompanying certain print books with e-book supplements). At the Melville House AWP booth last Friday I sat down with Mr. Johnson to talk about the importance of literature in the information age, the damage Amazon.com is doing to publishing, and the ways blogging, literature, and journalism inform one another. » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014 Series: Hao Guang Tse on Translation Behind the Scenes

March 7th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Translation, poetry, presses, Singapore, publishing… Read on for Hao’s hour-by-hour (more or less) account of one whirlwind afternoon and evening behind the scenes at AWP.

12:30pm

It is the second day of conference. I meet fellow Singaporean, friend and mentor Alvin Pang. It is always nice to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar place. He is with Drunken Boat editor Ravi Shankar and other members of his staff. I listen in on their plans to make Singapore literature take over the world. Ravi wants to feature a folio of Singapore poetry on Drunken Boat, and Erica Mena pitches a multi-journal collaboration to bring world poetry to the forefront of the literary-journal consciousness. The excitement is palpable. » Read the rest of this entry «

Marooned! with Matt and Bill

March 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

mza_9061123935916540415.170x170-75Download Marooned! with Matt & Bill, a new podcast by and for graduate students.  It’s about graduate student life and all things academic. Features Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12) and Matt Hauske (current MAPH preceptor). The podcast is free on iTunes – leave a review!

AWP 2014 Series: Chris Robinson on Three Imagined AWP Panels

March 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Disclaimer: Chris gave me permission to point out that this is “fiction.” No MAPH students were chained to the UChicago booth during AWP 2014.  2013, well, that’s in the past…

While I was sitting at booth 411 of the AWP Book Fair, smiling scribers would pass by from far-off conference center rooms, glinting with the secrets they had just learned of the craft, mumbling things like “the open ending” or “linked story collections” over and over to themselves. I would sigh, try to catch one of their eyes, and turn their attention towards our program. “Why don’t you try that open ending here, at U Chicago?” I would say. Or, “We like linked stories too.” But, really, this was my way of trying to penetrate those golden orbs of knowledge they possessed now from the panels. What was it like to attend an AWP panel, I thought? What sort of person would I be if I had attended one? Yes, something in them seemed to coronate these people who now glided through the aisles of booths, breezily calling themselves “writers.” The black iron clamp around my foot jiggled the chain that linked it to our table as I sat down and began imagining my own panels and the treasures they would hold: » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014 Series: Sabrina Medora on Changing the Narrative of Women and Literature

March 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

A five-day excursion to (surprisingly) sunny Seattle with friends and colleagues left me with a myriad of stories. Where do I begin summing up my experience at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference? From my first time in a hostel, to drinking “Unicorn Jizz” at a psychedelic Victorian bar, to witnessing first readings and being surrounded by thousands of people all in a writerly state of mind, it’s hard to pick my favorite part. So instead, I’ll focus on what impacted me the most.

The topics and discussions of women as writers.  » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014 Series: Korey Williams on Poetry & Performance

March 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Are you a poet? Do you seek to expand your audience through readings and interviews? Well, if you’re an uncharismatic reader of your own work, don’t expect a slot at the Texas Book Festival, at least not while Steph Opitz is the Literary Director. » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014 Series: Evan Stoner on 3 Things You Should Know Before Your First AWP Experience

March 5th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

 

photo 1

Seattle, home of AWP ’14 and better weather than Chicago

1. Know What to Wear

I arrived at the conference about 90 minutes after getting off my flight. I’m a nervous traveler, so the t-shirt and jeans I was wearing were a bit sweaty and anxiety ridden. My jeans and shoes looked fairly presentable, but my bright blue Hound of the Baskervilles t-shirt visually alerted every one of my newbie status the moment I stepped inside the convention center. There were other people in jeans and t-shirts (and sports jerseys?), but I didn’t want to be lumped with that crowd, if you catch my drift. I wanted to be lumped with the buttoned-down men and business-casually dressed women. The other students from my program were all dressed within these categories, and I’m not at all sure how I missed the memo. When I left the conference to get lunch at Jimmy John’s (all of their sandwiches are .74¢ cheaper in Seattle!) I raided the clearance rack at a nearby Old Navy to buy a $10 button down. I even tucked it in, which is far cry from my typical untucked, half-buttoned flannel getup. I usually avoid tucking in shirts of any kind for fear of looking like a young dad about to play golf, but as I held the shirt over my body in a mirror at Old Navy I thought I looked like a young writer who was not quite professional. Yet.

2. Know If You’ll be Giving a Reading » Read the rest of this entry «

AWP 2014: On Giving/Getting Permission

March 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

In case you missed Jessi’s excellent post on AWP on AfterMAPH, MAPH’s Alumni blog, check out some highlights of AWP 2014 below:

“Find the place that scares you most and run to it.” — Eric McMillan (MAPH ‘10) on writing and, well, life

Talking Craft: (from left) Evan Stoner ('14), Hao Guang Tse ('14), Andy Tybout ('14), Chris Robinson ('14), Joel Calahan ('05, current preceptor), Eric McMillan ('10), Hilary Dobel ('09)

Talking Craft: (from left) Evan Stoner (’14), Hao Guang Tse (’14), Andy Tybout (’14), Chris Robinson (’14), Joel Calahan (’05, current preceptor), Eric McMillan (’10), Hilary Dobel (’09)

Last night, while leading eight current MAPH creative writers on an uphill March from the Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center to Von Trapp’s in Capitol Hill, I was marveling (aloud, perhaps unfortunately for my companions) about what going to the AWP conference can do for an aspiring writer. We were on our way to the second-ever MAPH/UChicago Alumni offsite reading at AWP. Earlier that morning, my colleague A-J Aronstein and I had stopped by a panel featuring the poet and teacher—and reader at last year’s offsite event—Shaindel Beers(MAPH ‘00) entitled the “Art of Difficulty.” Using beautiful language, Shaindel described teaching poetry students in prisons, schools, etc. as finding a way of “giving permission.” To write, one has to believe that they have something worth saying, a voice worth hearing. To Shaindel, it is a writing teacher’s job to nurture that belief, to create a space for it to thrive.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Pushing Through, Looking Ahead

February 28th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Dear MAPH,

Spring—It's Coming!

It’s coming!

It’s nearly impossible to believe, but you are nearing the end of Winter quarter—the hardest quarter of your MAPH year. If you are a typical MAPH student, you have three classes worth of papers coming due, your thesis is in that wonderful, horrifying stage of gestation when it refuses to come out coherently on paper despite your preceptor’s gentle and well-meaning insistence, and this Chicago winter is still actively trying to murder you.

But take heart—we in the office are here to help you get through. Next week, we have reserved Classics 110 for three mini write-ins to help you get your end-of-quarter work done. Come to Classics 110 from 9-12 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 2-5 on Friday for a quiet place to work and a unhealthy supply of coffee. This will be a space just for MAPH students to read and write and push through the rest of this quarter in studious solidarity.

We are planning a fantastic Spring quarter for you, unimaginably far away though it may seem now. More announcements through MAPHCentral and the blog are forthcoming.

Best,

The MAPH Office