The reading for this year’s event was pretty sweet. Readings, as anyone with ears who has attended one knows, can be super exciting, alright, i guess, or snore fests. Though Mary Miller was the only author whose writing makes me go "woah-oh-oh," all three put on a nice performance: Mitchell Douglas with his blues-influenced self, Yang with her calculated storytelling (she read short excerpts and told the page number she was on! I like! I like!), and Miller with her "here you go" style.
At the next night's panel, some dude asked a question about a twelve-step process workbook he was working on as a entrepreneur (aren't we all!?). I'm still not sure what that was all about. I was pleased to see their enthusiasm and encouragement to Ryan Rader’s question about holding readings as those events have become, as both a reader and writer, an important part of my life. Also, I really enjoyed hearing each author’s story about the process of getting their book published. Apparently, Mary Miller's friends were like "hey, give us your short story collection and we'll publish it" and Miller was like "what collection?" and they said "get one" and she said "here you go" and now Big World is out. Cool. But, the BSU bookstore failed and I didn't get a copy.
Mitchell and Matt gave individual talks in two of my classes. Though not a fan of his work, Douglas’ discussion of his experience at IU’s MFA program, a place I am interested in, and his suggestion to look at programs based on who I want to work with as faculty got me pumped for graduate school. Oh MAN! I graduate in a little over a year.
As a fan of the Collagist and his personal blog, Matt's talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff and industry tips inspired me to work harder with my writing. Also, I think I learned something about public speaking; the passion Matt spoke with is a really good example of representing your craft and passions well.
Matt Bell’s visit, on the panel; in class; and in our less formal conversations, was the most impactful and inspiring part of this week. As a writer and editor, Matt Bell is someone I admire very much in the literary world; now as a person, he is also someone I have a book-load (get it? get it?!) of respect for. I even got to buy the dude a beer!
Also, the new issue of The Broken Plate came out on Monday. I read most of it Tuesday and Wednesday. Roxane Gay's piece was nice and my buddy Jeremy had a nice poem in there. I hope to read through it again soon though. I signed up for the class next year!
Also also, I got Matt Bell's new minibook Wolf Parts early (you didn't order it? Chumps.), but that discussion will have to wait. I'm already in the middle of it again.
Oh man, my head is full.