One of the downsides of living and voting in Wyoming is that the state doesn’t have much pull in presidential elections and what pull it does have always goes to the GOP. (Not passing political judgment here, just saying that the outcome is more or less guaranteed.) The silver lining is that for smaller-scale politics, our individual votes count for a lot more. This includes party primaries. A few left-leaning members of our cohort gathered at the Laramie Ice Recreation Center on Saturday for the Democratic Caucus. Leading up to the part of the caucus where citizens spoke on behalf of the candidates, the atmosphere was decidedly festive.
In the end, Albany County (where Laramie is located; for some insane reason, it’s not located in Laramie County) sided with Bernie Sanders, with Sanders getting 75% of the vote. Below, you can see Sanders supporters on the right and Clinton supporters on the left.
Over the past several months, several conversations have taken place here at the University of Wyoming regarding the way that the Creative Writing program supports (or fails to support) its people of color and other marginalized minorities. Some of these conversations have been difficult and have forced us to confront the realities of life in Laramie and at UW. Kristine Sloane, who contributes to the blog “The MFA Years,” recently published a post titled “Challenging the Whiteness of MFA Programs: A Year in Confrontations at UW.” It’s an important story to tell, not only for those of us here in Wyoming but for those in MFA programs across the country.
We’ve had some exciting student publications and awards recently. Check them out here:
Liz Kulze won the Tennessee Williams Fiction Contest for her short story, “Widow.”
In the last few months, Jess White has published several great essays in Feministing.
Randall Tyrone is featured in the second issue of Oversound. He also published three poems in (and was interviewed for) Electric Literature‘s Okey-Panky.
Khalym Kari Burke-Thomas’ THUGBAIT was a finalist in the New Delta Review’s annual chapbook contest.
Trey Williams’ short story “Darling, Keith, the Subway Girl, and Jumping Joe Henry” was published in the Winter 2016 issue of Glimmer Train. His story “Twelve in the Black” was a finalist for storySouth’s Million Writers Award.
Bethann Merkle published an article, “Drawn to Caribou,” in American Scientist.
Congratulations to all these fine writers!
Neltje, a friend of the Creative Writing Program, has generously offered use of her cabins along Crazy Woman Creek in the Bighorn Mountains to MFA students. Last weekend, Brad Watson and six graduate students drove up from Laramie to spend the weekend enjoying the outdoors.
The road to “Big Crazy,” the biggest of Neltje’s cabins, and the only one with running water and electricity.
Kat Williams, apparently ecstatic to be on the porch of Big Crazy.
Ammon Medina and Alec Osthoff look down onto the valley from the porch of Big Crazy.
The view descending from the mountains on a very primitive two-track.
“Mini Crazy,” the primitive cabin closest to Big Crazy, which sits just beside Crazy Woman Creek. It’s heated by a wood stove, which we had to feed through the night, as it dipped into single digits outside.
Liz Kulze, Kat Williams, Carly Fraysier, Alec Osthoff, and Ammon Medina hike a trail up to “White Lightning,” another of Neltje’s primitive cabins.
Beautiful rock formations along the trail that Neltje has appropriately named the “good rocks.”
The night-before-Halloween student reading at the Heineke Showroom downtown showcased some wonderful writing and even more wonderful costumes. Among the taxidermy, antique iron stoves, and handmade rifles were the following:
The following poor-quality photographs we offer as proof that we do, in fact, occasionally get off our asses and do things that make us sweat.
Lead by first-year non-fiction student Kat Williams, a number of CW graduate students, English graduate students, and friends joined together as Unsportsmanlike Behavior for UWyo’s intramural soccer league.
Unsportsmanlike Behavior ended the season with one win and three losses, a testament to the fact that they care far more about being unsportsmanlike than they care about winning.