Afternoon Craft Conversation with Kaya Oakes

Date & Time 
Wed, 04/09/2014 - 14:35 to 15:35

Craft talk: From Journalism to Creative Nonfiction by Kaya Oakes

Writers & Words: videos from past MFA Program events

The Creative Writing Reading Series and Afternoon Craft Conversations bring the literary world's most exciting writers to campus. Now you can hear them to read their work and discuss their craft online at Writers & Words.


Watch videos from last semester's Afternoon Craft Conversation and Readings from Shane Book, Wesley Gibson, Judith Claire Mitchell, and Tina Parsons.


Here's a sample!


Afternoon Craft Conversation with giovanni singleton

Date & Time 
Wed, 09/12/2012 - 14:15 to 15:15

“AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper” by giovanni singleton

Sound as in improvisation acts upon images and text giving rise to harmonious constructions of silence. It comes down to the desire for liberation through exploring what words, in their essence, can do. The behearer and the beholder approach the world with an attitude of longing. The page is a canvas, a field, a mediation between human nature and the natural world. Writing occurs on and with trees. Knock on wood. What is spoken from the depths of a whisper or said in a scream?

Afternoon Craft Conversations with Samina Ali

Date & Time 
Wed, 04/11/2012 - 14:30

’Male’ Writing versus ‘Female’ Writing:  Some Perspective on Politics, Gender, Identity, and the Act of Writing Consciously” by Samina Ali

Afternoon Craft Conversation with Shane Book

Date & Time 
Wed, 03/14/2012 - 14:30 to 15:30

“Poetry & Film” by Shane Book

Afternoon Craft Conversations

diane forlov and andrew schneider

Wednesday, September 17th, 2:35pm, Hagerty Lounge

"TV WRITING: THE INNER WORKINGS" by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

Diane and Andrew will discuss the unique, collective writing process of television: how a staff is assembled (what we look for in a writer); how the writers’ room functions; how a story develops from idea to outline to script (including the difference between adaptation and original material); and finally, how a script is impacted by the constraints of production.

Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider started writing and producing television together on the Fox series “AlienNation.”  They won Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody awards for their work on CBS’ “Northern Exposure”; they won Emmy and Writers Guild awards for producing HBO’s “The Sopranos.”  Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider co-created and produced Showtime’s “The Chris Isaak Show” and WB’s “Easy Money.”  They recently served as co-executive producers of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”.

hoa nguyen  rachel zucker

Wednesday, October 1st, 2:35pm, Hagerty Lounge

"EDITORS AND AUTHORS" by Hoa Nguyen and Rachel Zucker with Matthew Zapruder

What is it like to be an author whose manuscript has been accepted, and is now being edited? What are best (and worst) practices in that situation? What is the relationship between the creative process, and editing and publication? What should an author consider when looking for an editor, and a publishing house? Wave Books Editor at Large and St. Mary's English Professor Matthew Zapruder will discuss these and other questions related to editing and publication with two Wave Books authors, poets Hoa Nguyen and Rachel Zucker.

Hoa Nguyen is the author of eight books and chapbooks including As Long As Trees Last (Wave, 2012). Wave Books will release Red Juice, a gathering of her early, uncollected poems, in September 2014. 

Rachel Zucker is the author of nine books, most recently, a memoir, MOTHERs, and a double collection of prose and poetry, The Pedestrians. Her book Museum of Accidents was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Zucker teaches poetry at New York University and lives in New York City.

Matthew Zapruder teaches in the MFA Program at Saint Mary’s College of CA and is an Editor for Wave Books. 

aviya kushner

Wednesday, November 19th, 2:35pm, Hagerty Lounge

"IN THE BEGINNING: Openings and Why They Matter" by Aviya Kushner

Figuring out where to begin is often the most difficult task of all. But an opening that is exactly right can transform a piece and make it unforgettable. In this talk, we’ll look at several remarkable beginnings, ranging from The Book of Genesis to James Baldwin’s essay “Notes of a Native Son” to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.  We’ll consider quiet openers, informative and straightforward openers, and bang-bang-bang beginnings. We’ll talk about opening sequences in music and in film. Together, we’ll think about why beginnings matter, how to try and uncover the true beginning in a work-in-progress, and how to be open to an untraditional start. 

Aviya Kushner’s first book, The Grammar of God, about the experience of reading the Bible in English after a lifetime of reading it in Hebrew, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau / Random House in 2015. She teaches in the MFA program in nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago and is a contributing editor at A Public Space.

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