We’re happy to announce the faculty for the January 2014 Residency. For full biographies, see program website.
Debra Allbery (Director)
Ellen Bryant Voigt
The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College is delighted to welcome Tyler Cloherty, who will succeed Amy Grimm as the next Assistant to the Director of the Warren Wilson MFA Program.
Tyler is a North Carolina native. For the past several years, she’s worked as an editor of scholarly books at McFarland Publishing in West Jefferson, NC. Prior to that she was a grant writer and the PR point person for Eliada Homes, Inc. She holds a BA in English from the University of North Carolina-Asheville and an MA in English from Appalachian State. Her interests include theater, Irish dance, and Celtic and Medieval Studies.
Tyler’s training with Amy is now underway. She’s looking forward to meeting faculty and students in January!
For those who would like to take a look at some of the high spirited happenings at last May’s First Annual Spring Gala, presented by Friends of Writers to endow the Carol Houck Smith Scholarship, follow this link to watch the wonderful video.
Created by Frank Wing, the video features faculty and students from Warren Wilson, as well as new friends, who gathered to support the fundraising effort and to celebrate the MFA program by way of toasting Ellen Bryant Voigt’s birthday. Click the link to see friends and mentors enjoying the festivities. Listen to a reading by Meryl Streep and Bill Irwin of selected Ellen Bryant Voigt poems, as well as the Streep/Irwin comedic review of the contemporary poetry scene. (WARNING: any resemblance to the classic “Who’s on First” is entirely intentional!)
FOW was proud to have been able to fully endow the CHS scholarship by hosting such an enjoyable evening and looks forward to another successful fundraising event on behalf of the MFA Program in the spring of 2014.
Amy Grimm—I heard her voice before I met her.
My house was quiet, a rare moment. My young son was sitting on the floor occupied and content with his thumb, my daughters outside. I was nervous to make the phone call, but needed to know if I had been accepted. There was a decision to make about a job.
I did everything in my application to present myself as artistic and sophisticated. Complex, if a little modish. Did I sell my soul to the devil and neglect to mention the scope of my family—four children? Absolutely.
As it happened, the moment I introduced myself to Amy, my son commenced his earsplitting bawl, so pitched and blaring I lost her voice and so abandoned ship, running with the phone to the room at the top of the stairs, closing the door. I could hear the girls returning to the house; and, while this eased my anxiety around my son sticking a slobbery finger into an electric socket, their presence only escalated the moment as they launched into full-bellied, piercing shrieks over their brother’s tears. This was the horrid game the girls enjoyed when their brother cried, their shrill and deafening howls delighting and distracting him, making him laugh. The game, however, amounted to the most horrible sounds ever made in the history of the world.
So much for sophisticated.
“You have children?” Amy asked. Every Wally knows Amy’s voice, a sweet generosity tinged with playfulness.
The MFA Program’s Reed Turchi spoke with The Oxford American Magazine:
As a college student at the University of North Carolina, Reed Turchi was a folklore student and an occasional musician, but the driving, rhythmic propulsion of the Hill Country blues grabbed ahold of him like no other music had before. He got a guitar for Christmas his sophomore year and he began to imitate the Fred McDowell licks his professor, renowned blues scholar Bill Ferris, introduced him to. He schooled himself on famous Hill Country blues players, mythic figures who were long gone.
“All I knew was that Fat Possum had stopped putting out records in that genre for the most part,” Reed says now. “R. L. Burnside was dead and his juke joint had burned down. Junior Kimbrough was dead and his juke joint had burned down. Otha Turner was dead. All of the main icons were gone, and the physical places where this music had been played were gone. I wanted to know what was going on other than the North Mississippi All-Stars.” He drove to Mississippi on his spare weekends in college, recording what he could but mostly “using folklore as an excuse to see what the hell was going on down there.”
Read the rest of the article online here.
Friends of Writers and the MFA Program would like to congratulate students who graduated at the summer 2013 residency this July.
Lindsay Ahl (poetry)
Ronald Alexander (fiction)
Tommye Blount (poetry)
Alexandra Carter (poetry)
Brandi Gentry (poetry)
Lia Greenwell (poetry)
Elisabeth Hamilton (fiction)
Sean Patrick Hill (poetry)
Patricia Grace King (fiction)
Marit MacArthur (poetry)
Carrie Mar (poetry)
Nathan McClain (poetry)
Adrienne Perry (fiction)
Garrett Simmons (fiction)
Victor Valcik (fiction)
Steve Weed (fiction)
Judith Whelchel (fiction)
Over the past fifteen years, Amy Grimm, as Assistant to the Director, has seen over 450 Warren Wilson MFA students from application request to walking stick. She’s tended to faculty travel and dorm assignments and graduation buffet menus; she’s kept our budget, sent out reminder emails, and provided an ever-ready wit and a sympathetic shoulder.
At the July residency, Amy announced her decision to leave her position in September.
While Amy will be deeply missed, we’re excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for her. and we’re looking forward to the new energy and perspectives her successor will bring to the important work we do year-round in the MFA Office.
We encourage faculty and alumni to pass along the job announcement below to qualified candidates. Please note that there is no relocation assistance for this position. Review of applications will begin on August 1st.
The MFA Program for Writers located at Warren Wilson College seeks candidates for the Assistant to the Director position. The person in this full-time twelve-month position is responsible for organizing and running the MFA Office, anticipating and responding to the needs of graduate students, faculty, prospective students, and alumni, as well as recognizing those needs that require the attention of the Program Director. The Assistant works in close consultation with the Program Director, the MFA Academic Board Chair, and the Project Manager/Web Manager, and is ultimately responsible for coordinating the work of all office staff. The complete position description may be seen online at: http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~humres/MFA_Assistant_to_the_Director_REV_June_2013-1.pdf.
The successful candidate will possess at least a B.A. degree, preferably in English; excellent communication and computer skills; fluency with Microsoft Word and spreadsheet and database software, and social media; office management experience; exemplary organizational skills; maturity and discretion; flexibility, and even temper and a sense of humor; and experience or proven ability in bookkeeping. Some knowledge of and interest in contemporary writers and writing is strongly preferred. A driver’s license and good driving record is required.
The MFA Program has two 10-day residencies each year, in January and July. The successful candidate must be available to work 14- to 18- hour consecutive days throughout the two residencies. The summer residency typically includes July 4. Winter residency preparation involves working on New Year’s Day.
Warren Wilson College is an equal opportunity employer committed to the diversity of its community. Please send cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three professional references by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic submissions are required.