Category Archives: Uncategorized

Books We Love: Lady Bird Screenplay

Lady Bird is quite simply the quintessence of adolescence. Written by American actress, writer, and director Greta Gerwig, this screenplay tells the story of a tirelessly working family while exploring the often young and turbulent relationship between mother and daughter. Over the course of 2017 and 2018, it would go on to receive awards for its writing and filmmaking. Gerwig’s script meets, falls short of, and exceeds a number of expectations. Through conflict driven by pure heart and angst, Lady Bird takes us through the obstacles of growing up, only to find peace, identity, and perhaps a dose of wisdom on the other side. Continue reading

A Conversation with MU Press Novella Prize Winner Paul Skenazy

To promote his novella “Temper CA,” published Jan. 2019 by Miami University Press, author Paul Skenazy sat down with Sam Keeling, a Creative Writing and Media & Culture major and Editorial Intern for the Press. Their discussion covered everything from Skenazy’s writing rituals (or lack thereof) to the nature of truth and memory. For more on the novella, read this article from The Miami Student Continue reading

Books We Love: Human Acts

Han Kang’s Human Acts, in translation by Deborah Smith, is an exercise in memory and postmemory, a necessarily brutal rendering of trauma and its complex relationship with time and language. In this 2017 novel, which inhabits the framework of real historical occurrences, Han employs strikingly human voices (including her own) to recall the loss of a young boy’s life during the Gwangju Uprising of 1980. Each chapter steps forward in time to visit another life that struggles to understand its own living after this death. The Gwangju Uprising itself was an occasion of death, a violent ten days that saw Gwangju citizens organizing themselves against South Korean national military forces who had killed local university students protesting against the looming Chun Doo-Hwan dictatorship. The death toll is still unknown, recently placed by a BBC News report as somewhere “between one and two thousand.” These murdered bodies are where Han begins, a viscerally overwhelming motif in the novel’s first chapter, illustrating the magnitude of tragedy that Han proceeds to slice slowly into, so that the reader bares and must bear the buried bones of human cruelty with each chapter. Continue reading

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