At the Gala!: The Wonderful World of the Residency

06-at-the-gala-blog-postHappy New Year! And with the New Year comes a new experience for me: my first Winter MFA Residency with Pacific University.

This residency takes place at Seaside, OR rather than on campus. Students and faculty are put up in hotels, and spend ten glorious days in workshops, craft talks, classes, faculty readings, graduate presentations, and student readings. It’s non-stop, action-packed, awesomeness starting at 9:00 am and ending at (if you attend everything in a single day) 10:00pm.

It’s tiring, but I crawl gleefully to bed every night. This being my second residency (the start to my second semester), I feel like I know the terrain better. It’s also nice to feel like I can do my part to welcome new students, just as others welcomed me when I first arrived in June.

I thought it’d be interesting to post an example of the schedule, so here is the itinerary from Jan 12, 2014:

7:00am-8:30am            Breakfast

9:00am-10:00am          Craft Talk: “The Art of the Interview” with Judy Blunt

10:15am-Noon                Workshop
(During this time, graduate students typically have their Thesis reviews.)

Noon-1:30                         Lunch

1:30pm-2:30pm              Craft Talk: “Earn the Vomit: How Poets Write the Grotesque”
with Anna Journey

2:45pm-3:45pm              Craft Talk: “Fiction Faculty Passages” with Bonnie Jo

4:00pm-5:30pm             Graduate Student Readings

6:00pm-7:00pm             Dinner

7:30pm-8:30pm             Faculty Reading and Book Signing

9:00pm-10:00pm          Student Reading (Sign-up to share your work)

That, my friends, is just one day! And yes, after just two days it felt like I was here for at least a couple weeks (in a good way). Its nice, like it was at the National Book Festival, to re-immerse myself into the larger conversations we as writers (and artists in general) have about art and the world. I even start referring to myself as a writer (weird!).

How do I feel, you may ask? Well, a lot like this:


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