Last week, the wonderful Harvey Hix and Kate Northrop hosted a small gathering for those involved in the Creative Writing program. We all had the pleasure of hearing Joy Williams read a short story from her new collection, The Visiting Privilege. The story she read, “The Mother Cell,” witnesses the annual gathering of mothers whose sons grew up to be serial killers. Jason Burge, a fiction alum, introduced Joy as “the grand dame of American letters,” and the reading was a testament to how apt that introduction really is.
Last week New York Times Magazine featured a profile with the brilliant Joy Williams. We still can’t really believe how lucky we are to have Joy as a Writer in Residence. She’ll be spending the month of October in Laramie and we’re all really looking forward to her visit.
From the profile:
“Williams seems to be searching for nothing less than a kind of artistic transfiguration, one in which humanity’s role in fiction is lessened decidedly. ‘Short stories need to touch people on a deeper level, a deeper, stranger level,’ she told me that night, ‘and they don’t.’ When I asked Williams what she wants out of a great story, she replied, ‘I want to be devastated in some way.'”
thinking of a word/ starts with a “c” / ends with a “t” /
all this talk about craft / makes me think of an essay i read once.
another sunday out of doors, we spent one of the last warm days until summer bbq’ing in vedauwoo. there were many dogs, and a lot of food. miraculously, the only real conflict came about when the rabid pack fought over a charred scrap of hot dog. a few pretty pictures:
Taking a break from trying to learn the fine art of evisceration. Spent the last couple of days transcribing an interview with Mirah – part of a series of interviews I’m working on talking to songwriters about the process of lyric writing. Joy Williams is in town and suddenly I’m laughing more.
Kelly and I climbed to the top of Medicine Bow Peak the other day with Maya the Great. 12,000 feet of triumph, or some approximation. The actual autumn we’re having makes it feel less like we live on a satellite planet.Oh yeah, we see this fucking rad car.
joy williams blows in & out of town. besides looking at our various works in progress, and giving our drafts a thumbs up or thumbs down, she also has us over for pizza. highlights from last sunday’s gathering at the ranch.
needless to say, we like it better when the wind sets joy down here.