Thursday, July 24, 2008

I've had a great time at the UAA Low-Res MFA. What a fun group of people! It looks like the inaugural residency went off without any major glitches (which is no small feat!). I was a little late to the party (arriving on day 10 of a 12-day residency) but everybody made me feel completely at home. I joked that it was a little like being the marathoner who sneaks in at the last mile, all full of energy, while the rest of the pack is at their max and feeling the burn (wasn't there a Seinfeld episode with that?).

Anyway, one of the bonuses of being a guest speaker/presenter is that I get to go to all the other presentations, which included an amazing master class with Linda McCarriston on the Lyric-Bardic dialectic, and an equally superb fiction class with Rich Chiappone on "Reading Like a Writer." I was sad to have missed other faculty presentations, but got to chat with many of them. Good to see old friend Judith Barrington, and meet David Stevenson (the new res dir), Valerie M, Derek B, Zack R, Eva S, and others. A smart, dedicated group!

I think my Narrative Medicine and Line Breaks/Line Endings workshop went over well. It was the very last session of the residency, but energy still seemed high. And the students did really good work with the exercise (including the prose writers!). In fact, one prose student said to me something like, "OMG, I finally understand what free verse poets are doing!"

The reading Tuesday night was really fun. There was a fairly good turnout, with a good number of people from the community there. Including a few health care professionals (and closet writers), who introduced themselves to me afterwards. Also an old friend, MT, who I hadn't seen in over ten years, who lives in Anchorage now, saw the reading in the paper and came. We went out for a drink and a snack afterwards at Captain Cooks (?) in a swanky hotel downtown. Fun fun!

A nice dinner and reception at the end of the residency last night (Wednesday). So fun to see everybody, faculty and students, up and dancing to B-52's and Aretha Franklin and Nirvana and etc. I hadn't danced in years and just had a hoot.

Breakfast now, and then a flight home.



No comments: