honorable mention

the UW MFA website has been named one of the top ten (er, twelve?) MFA websites by Seth Ambramson for The Huffington Post.

this is exciting to current students as it means more traffic in/out/around our program’s internet presence, which means even more and wonderful prospective applicants/future mfa’ers continuing to build a good thing here in laramie.  this is exciting for faculty and administrators who work hard – and so consistently behind the scenes – to benefit the program and the students and who deserve the opportunity for praise & thanks.

earlier this year, when the uwyo mfa broke the top-50 in the poets&writers rankings, visiting author/eminent writer of the universe rattawut lapcharoensap offered the words below in response.  we thinks they are relevant, again, now:

lists like these can be a little silly and nefarious.  they seem to imply that there’s no difference between mfa programs in creative writing and college sports team.  (their metric and ranking system seem suspiciously similar, no?)  they’re especially silly for the “bigger,” more established writing programs; nobody needs reminding, for example, that the iowa writer’s workshop is generally considered a “good” place for aspiring writers.  and the idea of “ranking” mfa programs seems so illogical as to almost be a form of American insanity.  but for “smaller” or less established programs, the list can confer public legitimacy and, more importantly, alert prospective students to the program’s existence in the first place. (rattawut lapcharoensap, via gmail, september 2010)

writing. retreat!

the university of wyoming’s estella soto reports from the front lines.

i am engaged in a war with my words on the plains of colorado. where shortgrass is just what it sounds like. short. grass. and where there is no reason – earthly or otherwise – why i should not get a veritable buttload of writing done.

except, of course, that pesky interweb.

the things we googled: ash stymest (image search), vivien leigh (image search), black swan showtimes, JCREW, Southwest Airlines – Search Fares, awp conference registration, definition of tome – Free Online Dictionary, USC Trojans-UCLA Bruins game, coal creek uptown, CHER walkin in memphis, exes [who shall remain anonymous, unknown unknowable soldiers], myspace profile [deleted], facebook profile [wall posts/messages answered], cell phone bill [paid], netflix survey [answered in good faith],  bank accounts [not overdrawn].

the writing process: an essay in 8 photos

first, i printed everything i've written in the last 1.5 years - in various stages of completion/revision - and laid them out on my cot and looked at them. i felt things like excitement and fear.

then i went for a walk and admired the short. grass.

sometimes i think of my shadow as my better half.

as a matter of fact i did pack all of these items into a suitcase and wheel them up to the house. including (but not limited to): the norton anthology of latino literature, patti smith's autobiography, the wizard of oz & sleeping beauty & 8.5 (dvds), a lock-box full of index cards (where i store my heartbreaking work of unpublishable genius).

then i took a picture of the windmill outside.

then i read some queer critical theory essays and a henry james novel and took copious notes compiling evidence for my argument that henry james loves weiner.

then i took a picture of that windmill again. this time, at sunset.

just two writers on the plains trying to extract brilliant prose from our fingertips like...... i can think of a good simile i swear....... just give me a few more days in this little white room on the plains.

some of these things are not like the others

our last first//friday@secondstory until the spring semester, friday night’s event was pretty fucking rad.  perhaps it was the poetry of kate northrop, or the music of rob joyce, or all that talk about evil knievel and parasites courtesy of kelly herbinson.  or maybe it was the fresh, soft-wood aroma emanating from the flooring stacked in the corner of the bookstore (still under construction as it is converted to a coffeeshop). despite the fact that there were so many memorable moments, one thing we did not remember was the department camera — so we’ve pieced together a collage of friday’s event from camera phones and fbook for your viewing pleasure.

rob joyce drew a crowd of his own. unfortunately, not all of them had chairs.

the people: pensive or sleepy?

the mural: bear vs. wolf w/boner tail?

kate northrop performs for us a poem in two voices.

was she at the reading?

this is what it sounds like when doves cry.

reversecowgirl.