Kiana Murphy’s Quest to Change the World

Full disclosure: I’m the senior program director for the DC Creative Writing Workshop. We’re always bragging about our students. The article below features the story of one of our writing club members, Kiana Murphy, who’s got a bright future ahead of her. Given the educational hurdles in her neighborhood, Kiana Murphy’s had to overcome a […]

Two Year Blogiversary!

Today marks the second anniversary for Alan W. King’s Blog. Last year’s anniversary came and went silently. I wanted to do something different this year. When I thought about writing an anniversary post, the idea seemed good. I would retell the story about the circumstances that led to me blogging, how the blog’s evolved since […]

What Gets Lost In Pseudonyms

Nearly two years ago, I was laid off from my job as a staff writer for a black-owned newspaper in Baltimore. I didn’t cry or worry about my finances. I gathered my stuff quietly. (My co-workers didn’t know then they wouldn’t see me again.) Once in the back parking lot, I jumped for joy. No […]

At 30, I’m OK Being Unhip

While teaching in an after-school program one evening, Epiphany walked up and punched me in the face. It happened in the middle of a writing exercise I gave my students. The enthusiasm of some had them writing right away, while others sighed and laid their heads on the desks. One of them rolled her eyes […]

How To Handle Aggressive Pedestrians

And you thought mixed martial arts, football and boxing were tough contact sports? Take a stroll on any city sidewalk, and you’re bound to get shoved, kicked and shouldered. These sidewalk hogs plow through the middle of walkways. Sometimes they travel in a group of two or three and pretend not to notice you, unwilling […]

After Arriving Home

These past ten days were inspiring. I shared space with some of the most gifted people, talking about the cloud language of poetry and how to make our lines sing. The experts made the craft of writing magical enough to transform the Stonecoast MFA summer residency into a Hogwarts for aspiring word witches and wizards. […]

The Journey Home

Poet and essayist Ray Gonzalez  once wrote that “home is…the place where an inner being begins and ends.” That’s probably the best definition of the theme woven through Linda Buckmaster’s presentation The Return: Writers Consider Homeplace, which seemed symbolic since there’s one-day left of the Stonecoast MFA summer residency. I spent eight days hanging with […]

The Residency II

Jaed Coffin drew a diagonal line on an easel pad and called it the spine. That’s the idea of identity, he told a room of writers at a presentation Friday. Coffin drew a wavy line that curved along the diagonal one, and called it the narrative. Then he shaded in dots where the lines intersected. […]