Writing University Podcast

July 25, 2012
Kathryn Rhett, author of Survival Stories: Memoirs of Crisis, and Jessica Handler, author of the forthcoming Writing Through Grief, talk about how writing the tough stuff well can be good for you, and for a community of like-minded readers. Everyone will experience difficulty at some point in their lives, and, being writers, we may want to write about the tough stuff, either because we need to,...
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July 24, 2012
This talk explores the beauty of limitation, whether it be something as simple as a deadline or a self-imposed structure for a scene, a poem, or an essay. Even the constraints of our lives (time! job! space! family!) can serve the muse. Many Writing Festival participants say, “I write more here in Iowa than I do all year—how can I do this at home?” or “In doing the assignments for this class, I...
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July 19, 2012
In this panel discussion Dermont, Morningsnow, Twemlow, and Wilhelm will discuss poetry and fiction in conjunction with specific and intimate outside influences, inspirations, imitations, and inquiries. They will present examples of the ideas, authors, forms, and practices which have helped them generate their own most recent work, as well as discuss how writers might discover creative motivation...
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July 18, 2012
Enrich poetry, fiction, nonfiction and blog posts by unleashing people’s innate desire to share what they know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! This presentation will help you identify potential interviewees, pose questions that elicit intriguing responses, assess technological pros and cons, and evaluate the material your interview produces. We’ll also discuss how to recognize and weave the...
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July 16, 2012
Do you need to have a background in theatre to write plays? What’s the difference between a playwright and a screenwriter? How is it possible to develop characters and tell a story without passages of description and exposition? Is it up to the playwright to determine who does what and when they do it? How do you decide if the story you want to tell can best be told on stage? Once you write the...
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July 12, 2012
What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not. –Augustine of Hippo, Confessions In this hour I’ll explore the possibilities and the limitations of storytelling in the context of time, moving from concept to craft, principle to process, the phenomenon of time in the real world to our own recreation of it on the written page. We begin with our...
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June 27, 2012
Most often we encounter work on the page, but haven’t we all had the experience of being transported by hearing the author give a reading of his or her own work? What happens when we have the opportunity, as listeners, to hear literature presented directly by the author? And what happens, as writer, when we have the opportunity to embody our work before an audience? This talk will give practical...
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June 26, 2012
Drawing on his experience writing Child of My Right Hand (2004) and Twelfth and Race (published this March), novelist Eric Goodman discusses the challenges of taking on hot button topics. Why would you do it? What are the pitfalls and pleasures? What’s to be gained? In this Eleventh Hour lecture, Goodman offers the how-to’s and wherefores of confronting the material that most...
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June 25, 2012
The elegy offers one of poetry’s most appealing consolations: it can transform loss—and even the threat of loss—into an artful presence. This session will explore how reading contemporary elegies and engaging in elegiac writing can help us reflect on the lives we’ve led (and will lead). Expect a moving and invigorating session—one that isn’t afraid to laugh, either—as we look at some poems that...
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June 21, 2012
The Three Poisons is a simple and elegant Tibetan Buddhist teaching that identifies three foundational emotions that underlie all others—passion, aggression, and ignorance—much the way the three primary colors combine to make all others. For writers, awareness of the three poisons, which point to the ultimate equality and emptiness of all emotions, can be as profoundly beneficial as Keats’s idea...
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