The Residency and Immersion

Jaed Coffin’s goal is to aim for the big idea when he’s working on a writing project, often immersing himself in his subjects’ worlds. And he didn’t expect anything less from his students, who he urged yesterday to do their subjects’ stories justice by giving readers the big picture. There was a lot to take […]

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. […]

Creating Mental Motion Pictures For Readers

Looking up from his laptop, Richard Cambridge adjusted his eyeglasses before resting his elbows on the lectern. He surveyed the packed room of Stonecoast faculty and fellow grad students at a session he led Thursday. “How many of you’ve seen Mission:  Impossible?” he said. Several hands shot up, remembering the opening montage of the popular […]

How To Write About Sex

A roomful of writers laughed after Aaron Hamburger noted that nipples shouldn’t be compared to cherries, pencil erasers or Frankenstein’s neck bolts—at least not in literature. “Metaphors should be used to make things clear,” the Stonecoast faculty member said during his presentation. “But we’re all adults, here. I think we’re clear on what a penis […]

The Residency

During yesterday’s presentation on music and improvisation, Gil Helmick and his band inspired the writers in the room to face their fears off the page. “I’ve actually watched my work change before my eyes while I’m performing,” he said. “Line breaks go. I’ll toss lines over my shoulder like they’re dead birds.” Helmick’s presentation Poetry, […]