Books We Love: All The Names They Used for God

All The Names They Used for God is a debut collection from Anjali Sachdeva, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The collection features nine stories of varying lengths, styles, and plots, albeit all sharing unusual and idiosyncratic elements. What links these stories is previewed by the title. Every character uses a different name for the ‘gods’ in their lives, and they are all let down by these gods. Sachdeva is interested in what happens when one’s life does not turn out as expected. When things are broken, how do you pick up the pieces and move on? Continue reading

Panelists Rebecca Wolff, Michael Griffith, and Ayesha Pande at a table with moderator Cathy Wagner

Miami Hosts 1st Annual Publishing Symposium

At the Miami University Creative Writing Program’s first annual Publishing Symposium on Friday, April 20th, literary agent Ayesha Pande and magazine publishers Rebecca Wolff and Michael Griffith gave a roomful of students advice on making their mark in the ever-shifting publishing landscape. Continue reading

Unintended Consequences: A Collection of Short Stories by chemistry capstone students

Great chemistry: Creative Writing collaborates across disciplines

Hurray for successful collaboration across disciplines! Check out this wonderful book of short stories, or “fictional essays,” written by chemistry capstone students to help them think about ethical dilemmas in science. As the preface by Prof. Heeyoung Tai says, imaginative writing enabled students to “see the future—not just the benefits that scientific advances would bring, but the possible unintended consequences that they would need to address and consider at the same time.” Continue reading

Diving into the Process: Patricia Grace King

Miami University Press Marketing Intern Leah Gaus interviews 2017 Novella Prize winner Patricia Grace King on her latest work, her writing process, and the importance of gratitude.

Having traversed many countries and lived in vastly different cities, Patricia Grace King fell in love with travel at an early age. Her prize-winning novella, Day of All Saints (Miami University Press, 2017), takes place in Guatemala, where Patricia lived for three years. While there, she worked as an accompanier of refugees with grassroots organization Witness for Peace during the civil war. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in English from Emory University. Hard at work on her forthcoming novel, King currently resides in Durham, England. For more, visit her website at www.patriciagraceking.com. Continue reading

Álvarez and Tuma Present: Poetry

Room 40 in Irvin—a small, compact space—was filled completely on the night of Wednesday, March 28th. Students piled in, resorting to standing around the room. The students and faculty talked loudly, everyone waiting with a nervous energy for the poets to begin. Using this energy, María Auxiliadora Álvarez and Keith Tuma read their respective poems, causing the audience to drift away into feelings of contemplation, sympathy, and grief, and to be startled into laughter. Both poets left the audience with more questions than answers, like any good poet does, and they both transformed room 40 into something much more than a classroom. Continue reading

Undergraduate Reading Series: Report from a First-time Reader

On Monday, March 5th, at the weekly meeting of Sigma Tau Delta, I signed up to write a blog post about the Happy Captive Magazine/Howe Writing Center Undergraduate Creative Writing Reading on the 15th of February. Little did I know that I would be presenting my own work at that reading. I had never read any of my work in public before—my words had always been confined to the classroom or to the ears of those closest to me—but when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to take it. Continue reading

Kelcey Ervick’s Bitter Life: An Alternate Way to Present History

The beauty of readings is that, while you go in expecting to be entertained by a writer’s work, you can leave with a new perspective, or perhaps a better understanding, of how to improve your own writing. I had such an experience back on October 17, 2017, while listening to Kelcey Parker Ervick read samples from, and explain the process behind, her biography/memoir hybrid The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová (Rose Metal Press, 2016). Continue reading

Rodrigo Toscano and two poetry students stand intent, reading from sheafs of paper during a poetry performance skit.

Rodrigo Toscano performs with MFA students

Last semester, on Tuesday, November 6, acclaimed poet (and labor organizer by trade) Rodrigo Toscano, along with five Miami Creative Writing MFA students, performed for a full house in the Bachelor Hall reading room. (Pictures here.) Toscano has lived a double life, splitting his time between working in the labor movement and weaving his poetry. A writer who has authored multiple books of poetry, recordings, and essays, he most recently released a collection based off a single sentence, one that also gave him the title for the book: Explosion Rocks Springfield. With Miami graduate students, he performed a string of poem-skits that combined to create an astute reflection on the modern human experience. Continue reading

Creative Writing MFA students pursue passions with alternative courses

We are reposting this piece by Mackenzie Rossero, CAS communications intern, which originally appeared on the Miami English Department website here

Have you ever wanted to take a class on fanfiction? Have you ever wanted to teach that class? Or, introduce kids to creative writing in the outdoors, in a place teeming with inspirational opportunities? Creative Writing MFA students are doing all of this, and will soon be doing more.

Visiting writer Peter Manson, in a pale linen jacket, stands at the microphone and gestures. Miami University faculty poet cris cheek, in a hand-painted shirt, kilt, and glasses, watches Manson intently.

Peter Manson and cris cheek: a night of poetry

On October 30th, the seats of Irvin 40 filled quickly with poetry enthusiasts, there to see the reading of cris cheek and Peter Manson, two writers hailing from across the pond. Manson is from Glasgow and is the author of a variety of works including a book-length translation titled Stéphane Mallarmé: The Poems in Verse (Miami University Press). cheek, originally from England, now teaches here at Miami. He has done it all—music, publishing, dancing, and e-poetry. It made for an interesting scene, Scottish and English poets who cut their teeth performing and writing abroad and in online spaces now reading together for a US crowd. The reading was a melting pot of European Anglophone styles, countries, cultures, and languages as each author brought his own flavor to the mix. Continue reading