They’ve only been here a couple weeks but they’re already kicking a ton of ass. We’re stoked that you guys are a part of this program!
Last June, the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference awarded scholarships to three MFA students to attend. Carly Fraysier, Maria Anderson, and Dominick Duhamel got to spend three days in Jackson listening to craft talks; discussing their manuscripts with established authors, editors, and agents; meeting members of the Wyoming literary scene; and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The conference’s keynote speaker was UWyo’s own Nina McConigley, who also gave an excellent craft talk on how to transform autobiographical experiences into fiction.
Last month poet Bhanu Kapil and the director of the MFA program, Jeff Lockwood, as well as two of the graduate students, Erin Jones (2cd year, non-fiction) and Randall Tyrone (1st year, poetry), boarded the University’s private jet to fly to Jackson, Wyoming, where Kapil had a reading at the Teton County Public Library. Kapil read from her new book Ban en Banlieue, which begins with a brown girl walking home from school during a riot in 1979 London. The book explores both civic and somatic themes.
Regarding Kapil’s craft talk and reading in Jackson, Randall said, “when I heard Bhanu’s craft talk and saw her performance I was forced to reevaluate and then redefine my understanding of trauma. It can be a catalyst that changes a person into another just so that they may survive in their environment, otherwise the trauma can scar generations.”
The group stayed overnight in plush lodges and had the pleasure of enjoying the city’s dining before they flew back to Laramie the next day (not going to lie, really jealous of the massive cinnamon rolls they were eating for breakfast and which one of my peers decided to send me a picture of…. -_-).
Bhanu Kapil is the Eminent Writer-in-Residence at the University of Wyoming Masters in Fine Arts program this spring. Kapil comes to Wyoming from Colorado where she teaches at the Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She also teaches at the low-residency MFA program at Goddard College. At the University of Wyoming, Kapil is leading the graduate workshop in poetry where students are writing around the theme of “monsters.”
Poet Ginger Ko (MFA ’14) has her first book, Motherlover, forthcoming from Coconut Poetry in March. Ko also has a chapbook coming out in the summer, Inherit, from Bloof Books. It is an excellent year for Ginger, and we are thrilled for her and her talent.
The cover of Motherlover was designed by another talented MFA alum, Sofi Thanhauser.
Below is a provocative excerpt from her poem “Flora”:
There is no room in my heart for important men who surround themselves with flowers.
Take the garland of wives and daughters from around your neck. That you feel safe
they would not choke you makes me sick.
Cannot wait to read the whole book and recover from all of the sucker punches her words deliver.
Carly Fraysier (non-fiction), Randall Tyrone (poetry) and Maria Anderson (fiction) are leading three writing workshops this semester at the Wyoming Girls’ School in Sheridan. They have put together a collection of short stories, poems, and essays for the girls to read and will facilitate, hopefully, some enlightening discussions. Carly and Randall already headed up (all 300 miles) this past week for the first workshop and shared some pictures of their stay in Sheridan (UW is grateful to the Ucross Foundation (http://www.ucrossfoundation.org/) for gifting the students with some “plush” (as Carly put it) lodging):
It’s a great opportunity to run writing workshops at the Wyoming Girls’ School and these students are BOSS for taking advantage of it. Onward and upward class of 2016.
Each year novelist and faculty member Joy Williams invites the cohort to her cabin in Centennial, Wyoming. It’s a beautiful drive 30 short miles west on WYO 130 and a real privilege to be given the opportunity to have a more intimate setting with her. Here are some pictures from our lovely day:
Fortunately for the cohort this year the MFA program bought a table for the Art Museum Gala held at the University of Wyoming ballroom. It’s a swanky event- ladies got the chance to get dolled up and the boys got a chance to put on a suit (a rare occurrence in Laramie, Wyoming (where the culture prizes jeans and boots and cowboy hats)). But the really exciting thing is how much money the Gala is able to raise (through auctioning art (which two members of the cohort bought!) by local artists amongst other things) to support the art museum’s outreach programs.
Here’s a few shots:
The University of Wyoming MFA program welcomes it’s new first year students for the 2014-2015 academic year- Maria Anderson (fiction), Khalym Khari Burke-Thomas (poetry), Dominick Duhamel (fiction), Carly Fraysier (nonfiction), Chido Muchemwa (nonfiction), Ryan Oberhelman (fiction), Jeff Tatay (poetry), Randall Tyrone (poetry), Jess White (nonfiction), and Trey Williams (fiction)! Welcome and may the new atmosphere invigorate your writing!
Today we’re congratulating MFAer Manasseh Franklin on being awarded the Larsh-Bristol Fellowship from the UW communications and journalism department, which comes with $5000 to support her work and an invitation to take part in a gallery show in the fall. It’s quite an accomplishment, which Manasseh intends to use to travel for seven weeks this summer visiting, writing about and photographic glaciers.