Archive | July 2012


A number of Warren Wilson faculty and alumni will read in Rochester, VT at BigTown Gallery’s annual literary arts series, which takes place on Sunday evenings, July 15-Sep­tember 2.

July 29 — Faculty Michael Collier (with Cynthia Huntington)

August 5 — Faculty Martha Rhodes (with Gary Margolis)

August 12 — Alumna Elaine Terranova

August 19 — Alumni Patrick Donnelly and Margaree (Molly) Little

September 2 — Alumna Tracy Winn (with Joan Landis, Rebecca Goodwin, and R.C. Williams

All of this year’s readings will take place in the Main Gallery from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Alumni Updates

R. Dwayne Betts (poetry, ’10): Dwayne’s poem “Post Racial, or Why My Timberlands Are Still Unlaced” appears in the latest issue of TriQuarterly:

Post Racial, or Why My Timberlands Are Still Unlaced

troubled by
news reports
about what Obama’s
candidacy means,
his sleight
of hand mastery
of invisibility, a skill
that lets him be
black and post black
on the same stage—
…[Keep Reading]…

Dwayne is the author of A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (2010, Avery Trade) and the poetry collection Shahid Reads His Own Palm (2010, Alice James).

Alumni Updates

Joe Schuster (fiction ’91): Joe will be attending the Sewanee Writers Conference as a Walter E. Dakin Fellow.  He is the author of The Might Have Been: A Novel (2012, Ballantine).


To the class of summer of 2012 for their generous donation of $20,090.  This record-setting class gift, presented at the summer 2012 graduation ceremony of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson, will help Friends of Writers sustain and extend its work in support of the students, faculty and alumni of the program.

Speaking on behalf of the class of Summer ’12, Ellen McCulloch-Lovell pledged that the class will continue to add to this outstanding contribution.  Join them in this important work by clicking on the “DONATE” button at the top of this page.

Stephen Dobyns in The New Yorker

Faculty member Stephen Dobyns’ poem “Determination” appears in the April 9th issue of the New Yorker.  You can also read an interview about the writing of the poem.


                                      Cabbage—the first word put down
with his new pen, a trophy pen,
like a trophy wife, not cheap,
absurd to use a ballpoint pen

for a task like this, a challenge,
for which he’d also bought a new,
but ancient, rolltop desk recently
restored, with matching chair...[Keep Reading]…

Stephen is the author of Winter’s Journey (2010, Copper Canyon Press) and Next Word, Better Word: The Craft of Writing Poetry (2011, Palgrave Macmillan).

Alumni Updates

Bryan Furuness fiction, ’08): Bryan’s short story “Evolution” appears online at Used Furniture Review:


Deciphered from cuneiform, this is the earliest known example of a break-up letter.

Dear Lucy,

What’s up? Not much here. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing a letter. If I know you—and after sharing your cave for a month, I think I do—you’re probably scratching your cute temple like what the heck? Ock LAUGHS at letter-writers, then says something witty like, “Make yourself useful,” before tearing off their arms and carving the wristbones into spearheads.

Well, that was Old Ock. New Ock has a different perspective. No doubt you’ve noticed that I’ve been standing more upright lately. Those few vertical inches have changed my worldview. Literally. Instead of looking at cracked mud and mammoth scat and your breasts, my view soars over treetops, stars, and your breasts.

New sights put New Ock in mind of big and distant things. The horizon. The future. The whole deal between men and women.

Ah, but listen to me go on. If Dr. Ur was looking over my shoulder, he’d say I was “practicing avoidance.”  Then again, if Dr. Ur was looking over my shoulder, he’d find himself suddenly armless. Ha!  …[Keep Reading]…

Bryan is the author of The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson (2012, Black Lawrence Press).

Alumni Updates

Mike Puican (poetry, ’09): Mike’s poem “The Lawyer Objects to Metaphoric Language” appears in the summer/fall 2012 issue of TriQuarterly.

The Lawyer Objects to Metaphoric Language

Show me the fireball of desire, the scarlet carpet of untamed horses,
the roar of stone lions. Present the evidence! he says,

That fish spawn in tree trunks, that starlings
fly through the sleep of schoolchildren! 

The judge glances at her watch. She thinks of her lover’s body
touched by the morning’s sun. She could use a cigarette...[Keep Reading]…

You can listen to Mike read his poem aloud at TriQuarterly Online.

Alumni Updates

Beverley Bie Brahic (poetry, ’06): Beverley’s poetry collection White Sheets (2012, CBEditions, UK; Fitzhenry & Whitefield, NA) is one of five collections on the shortlist for the 2012 Forward Prize. The £10,000 award is one of the UK’s top poetry prizes.  Previously winners include poets Don Paterson, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy and Ted Hughes.  You can read more about this year’s finalists in The Guardian.

Poems from White Sheets have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, Field, Literary Imagination, Notre Dame Review, The TLS and elsewhere.


Airstrike hits wedding party—breaking news

The empty laundry basket
fills with molecules of light.
She stands beside it, arms falling
into the aftermath of the task.
Gesture is a proto-language
researchers say: the same circuits
light the brain when a chimp
signals help me please (hand
outstretched, palm up) as when
human beings process speech.
In the cave the hunter figure
mirrors his spear’s trajectory
towards the deer it will never,
of course, attain. The woman
sees nothing untoward. Her body
bars the spattered something
in the middle distance, though all
of this is right up close: the shed
they’ll use to dress the meat, the plane
geometry of white sheets
on a line. The world is beautiful,
she thinks, or feels, as deer
sense something coming
and move out of range. Beautiful,
the woman thinks, and lifts
the laundry basket to her arms—
beautiful, and orderly.

Beverley’s translation of Apollinaire’s poems, The Little Auto is also available from CBEditions.

Interview with Jennifer Grotz

Warren Wilson faculty member Jennifer Grotz was recently interviewed for Puerto del Sol:

When did you begin writing poetry? How did you choose your genre?

JG: Well, as Pound said at the end of his career, “I did not enter into silence. Silence captured me.”  That is, though it may sound melodramatic, I honestly feel as though poetry early on captured me—I never even considered another genre to write in, and though I do aspire to complete some significant prose at some point, it’s going to be a struggle, I think. The way I think most aligns itself with the way poems think and operate.

As for when I started writing, well, again, I can’t remember not making poems. My very first writings were scribbles, little extra lines and verses, into the large illustrated Bible my grandmother gave me as an infant. There was a lot of strange stuff I wrote—part letters, part diary, part poem—and then I discovered the poetry section of my school library, and, later, the public library. That’s where I began to read poetry—which, naturally, began to shape and strengthen my ability to write poems...[Keep Reading]…

Jennifer’s new poem, “Impressionist,” which she recently read at the MFA summer 2012 residency, is up at Plume Poetry:


Once it was declared awful because it was brilliant

and then it was so universally brilliant it became awful.

And then we only loved the way they broke their own rules,

“we” including me, but now I think of Monet every day...[Keep Reading]…

Jennifer is the author of the poetry collection The Needle (2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

More from the Virginia Quarterly Review

We’re proud to announce VQR’s spring 2012 special issue on American Poetry, which in addition to faculty member C. Dale Young’s poems (posted earlier this week) includes work by Warren Wilson faculty Debra Allbery, David Baker, A. Van Jordan, Alan Shapiro and Pimone Triplett, as well as alumnae Victoria Chang and Meghan O’Rourke:

Debra AllberyVinton County, 1965

David BakerThe Anniversary and Five Odes on Absence;

Song of Sanity (essay)

Victoria ChangWe Are Monica (Acrostic)

A. Van JordanBlazing Saddles

Meghan O’RourkeAt Père Lachaise and For Apollinaire

Alan ShapiroGravity and In Winter

Pimone TriplettReal Estate and Census