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.”
Last Friday was the final MFA reading of the semester. Maria Anderson, Carly Fraysier, and I read from our work at Hero Depot, our local arcade.
Maria read from a short story about a woman who studies bats in Borneo whose marriage is falling apart.
Carly read from an essay about her younger brother that grapples with addiction and the ways we speak on behalf of others.
In the last few days we’ve gotten almost eight inches of snow and temperatures have dropped into single digits. The town is beautiful under a fresh snowfall and, when the clouds thin and the sky shows, the snow is tinted blue. Our new, warm-weather arrivals have been learning how to drive in the snow without fishtailing, the virtues of mukluks, and how to downhill sled on inverted recycling bin lids.
Photo: Liz Kulze
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:
Laramie’s a pretty cool place but, for my money, one of the best things about living here is the close and easily accessible Snowy Range. It’s particularly spectacular in the fall. A few of us took advantage of the unseasonably beautiful weather to hike a long loop through the mountains.
Liz chills, Lilly eats a boiled egg (she does this a lot), and Liz’s creature Archie stumbles and slips among the rocks. That’s Lost Lake in the background. Mostly I (this is Dominick, your friendly MFA blogger, by the way) watched trout rise and regretted not bringing my fishing rod.
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.
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.
A number of us had the pleasure of reading to a small but incredibly attentive and appreciate group in Rawlins, WY yesterday. The reading took place at the Carbon County Career & Tech Ed Center. Before the reading, the center’s director, Dave Throgmorton, who also helped put together the reading, gave us a tour of the facility. (Above, Dave shows us a CNC router, a machine used to mass-produced highly detailed wood work, used mostly for cabinetry.) It was really cool to see the way that Dave and his colleagues are using the center to create career opportunities and address their community’s needs and to get a better understanding of the relationship between natural resource industries and local community in a small Wyoming town.
Lilly Schneider, Dominick Duhamel, Carly Fraysier, and Trey Williams all read from their work; a local theater student read from Maria Anderson’s work. After, we all had dinner at Buck’s Sports Grill in Rawlins, where episodes of Full House were playing in the bathroom.
Join us this Friday at Night Heron Books for the first of our fall student readings. Ryan Oberhelman (fiction), Jess White (nonfiction), and Randall Tyrone (poetry) will be reading.