Archive | April 2012

Alumni Updates

Reginald Dwayne Betts (poetry ’10): Reginald has been appointed by President Obama to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  The Council works to coordinate federal juvenile delinquency prevention programs, federal programs and activities that detain or care for unaccompanied juveniles, and federal programs relating to missing and exploited children.

The appointment was announced Thursday, April 26th on the White House website.

Alumni Updates

Rolf Yngve (fiction, 2012): On May 6th, Rolf will be reading at Grossmont College in San Diego as part of the “Wars We Fought” readings, featuring novelist Tom O’Brien.  The readings are part of Grossmont’s 2012 Literary Arts Festival.

More information, including directions to the event, is available at the Grossmont College website.


Debra Spark on Kinship

Warren Wilson faculty member Debra Spark’s new post at The Arty Semite, “Do My Characters Need to Be Jewish?”:

Should I show my husband my work? My sister? My mother? Students sometimes ask me this. Go ahead, I say. Just don’t be too eager to listen to your family members’ opinions about your fiction. Parents and siblings bring too much non-literary baggage to their reading, so they’re not the ones to turn to for clearheaded advice. Which is a shame, I’ll be frank, because my mother thinks I’m a genius.

My siblings are kind (though not uniformly) about my work. There are a few comments, over the years, that hurt at the time, that pain me less in retrospect. Here’s one that just interested me. My mother read a few stories of mine (in draft) and then asked, “Why do all your characters have to be Jewish?”…[Keep Reading]…

Debra is the author of The Pretty Girl: Novella and Stories (Four Way, 2012).

Alumni Updates

Jennifer Wisner Kelly (fiction, ’10):  Jennifer’s short story “Sirens” appears in the current issue of the Greensboro Review.

Ross White (poetry, ’08): Ross’ poem “Autobiography” appears in the same issue of the magazine.

New issues of GBR are only available in print.

Blue Ridge Mountain Sky

Another photo from office manager and webmaster Alissa Whelan:

Writing Advice from Pete Turchi

Former Warren Wilson MFA Program Director Peter Turchi talks about writing advice with alumni Jeremy L.C. Jones (fiction, 2001):

What is the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

Turchi:   ”Give up,” followed closely by “pick one kind of writing.” The woman who ran the graduate program I attended was a font of terrible advice (many other people there were quite helpful). I didn’t know that her suggestion that I pick one genre (at the time I was a journalist, was working to write fiction, had written poems and a play, and had just started my first screenplay) was bad advice in general, but I knew it made no sense for me, as I enjoyed–and still enjoy–all kinds of writing...[Keep Reading]…

Pete is the author of Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer (Trinity Press, 2007).

Alumni Updates

2012 fiction graduates Virginia Lee Borges and Evan Cleveland have work currently online at Every Day, a Century:

Four-Part Venn Diagram
Virginia Lee Borges

Four-part Venn diagram with jellyfish at the center: strong things, stinging things, vulnerable things, things that glow. A man named Schmidt let seventy-eight varieties of insect sting him because he wanted to know how each burned...[Keep Reading]…

Evan Cleveland

After the harmless black boy was murdered, the mayor relieved all police of nighttime shifts, hiring adjunct professors from the community college. Domestic disputes paralyzed them: She should release that knife. But he threatened her autonomy. Have you worked 12-hour shifts? Have you read existential feminist theory?...[Keep Reading]…

New Poem by Heather McHugh

Read Warren Wilson faculty member Heather McHugh’s “transliteration of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 23” at The Chronicle online:


so e-agents can’t perfect an author.
His art (howbeit swapped shut) is his fire—
a high truth, gloom-free writ, or some centerpiece—
whose hint (torn watchband) reawakens hugenesses…[Keep Reading]…

Heather is the author of the poetry collection Upgraded to Serious, available May 15 from Copper Canyon Press.

Alix Ohlin on Her New Book

Warren Wilson faculty member Alix Ohlin talks about her new novel, Inside (Knopf, 2012):

Read more about the book at

Creative Mistakes

From Kevin McIlvoy‘s January 2012 residency lecture, “The One Reader”:

“The prose poet has the compulsion to commit errors, not avoid them–it is the marvelous wreck, the experience of the auto salvage yard, the trace of the path and not the path.”

Full recordings of faculty lectures are available for purchase on the MFA Program website.