Inside Look

Expanding to 10,001

By Lance Hood, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     January second marked the first day of the 2015 Bluegrass Writers Studio Winter Residency, a ten day stretch of reading, writing, and the intermingling of writerly minds. We started the week out strong with a visit from the two-headed giant who singlehandedly revived the space opera genre, James S.A. Corey. The pseudonym, which combines the middle names of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, can make for some awkward sentences, as it’s not often that a single proper noun refers to two people. For the sake of clarity and in an attempt to retain my final shreds of sanity, I’ll henceforth refer to them in other manners. Probably. No promises.

A Conversation Between Me and The Ghost of Zelda Fitzgerald

By Kelley Davidson, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

A Conversation Between Me and The Ghost of Zelda Fitzgerald*

Last week I summoned one of my favorite women on my Ouija board. I didn’t think there was anyone else who could better help me continue the conversation about the connections between mental illness and creativity than one of the Jazz Age’s craziest, coolest deceased writers: Zelda Fitzgerald.

Zelda did not appreciate my Ouija board; calling it a “muddled middle-man.” Instead, she danced the Charleston through the veil between the living and the dead and conversed with me about writing, depression, and untapped potential.

Zelda’s ghost was a lot like her former corporeal self: razor-thin, quick-witted, and totally drunk.  She made a few remarks re: the gaudy décor in my bedroom and after she thoroughly hurt my feelings, we got down to business.

Kicking into the Infinite Abyss

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Anyone familiar with my literary ways knows that I’m a devotee of Dr. Peter Mark Roget. Roget was sort of the Charlie Brown of the 19th century. He was a gloomy, sullen sort who most certainly would’ve fallen prey annually to the Van Pelt swiping of the Thanksgiving football, landing on his back with an untranslatable sound of anguish.

     By all reports, his melancholy was not entirely his fault, but had roots in the depression, schizophrenia, and suicide in his family. So his pathology was perhaps a bit more involved than a 5-cent diagnosis at a sidewalk stand (nickels! nickels! nickels!), but the result was the same: a quest to make sense of the madness.

Jen Parks Writes a Novel, part 3: A Tale of Two Cities

By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio

It’s five-thirty in the morning on a Tuesday, and my alarm has just gone off. Though I don’t work today, I should get up, do some yoga, or stumble, sleepy-eyed down the stairs into the kitchen to make the kids’ lunches. Instead, I close my eyes against the long day of reading and writing and chores looming ahead of me, knowing that my head won’t fall back upon this pillow until almost midnight.

Pen Name: Sara Tonin

By Kelley Davidson, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

When I was seventeen I started crying, and I didn’t stop for almost ten years.

I became vegetarian a few years prior to this, and my newfound “consciousness” quickly consumed me with infinite compassion for every creature I saw. I couldn’t take a step through my backyard without thinking of the anthills I was crushing deep under cover of grass, and subsequently stopped lying languorously in the sunshine, stopped picking through the blades in search of four-leafed clovers. I practically stopped going outside altogether. I stayed in my room where I, a human, the worst kind of creature on earth, couldn’t hurt anything. I skipped school (a LOT) and wrote long (and terrible) manifestos about how the Black Plague was probably a blessing, “because, like, look at all the humans it killed.”

Daytona Beach Revisited

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Lessons Learned

By Cindy Behunin, Alumna, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Announcing Guests Crowley, Block, and Rosser

By Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Want to see a bit more of our Winter Residency 2015 lineup?

Okay, here goes. But I’m saving one or two more for next week…

One of the most profound works of fiction I’ve ever read—right up there with Crime and Punishment, Moby Dick, Madame Bovary—is a hefty tome of semi-historical fantasy called Little, Big by the author JOHN CROWLEY. The book is tough to pin down, a challenge, but also a complete immersion into a world of profound imagination, not unlike Crowley’s Aegypt quartet, a sprawling work that evokes the occult “secret history” of the world.  Or Crowley’s Lord Byron’s Novel, a what-if about the book Byron promised to write that fateful night with the Shelleys, but never did.

Presenting Jason Howard and James S. A. Corey

By Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio

All right, the time has come to reveal the remaining two author guests we have slated for the Bluegrass Writers Studio Winter Residency 2014. Although, technically, it’s three, since one guest is actually two people. Writers can be weird like that.

But first let’s talk about creative nonfiction writer JASON HOWARD. Mr. Howard is a local guy with national acclaim, and he’s also a long-time friend of EKU’s creative writing programs. A few years ago he entertained and edified a group of students and community members as part of our long-running EKU Summer Writers’ Conference. Now we get to share Mr. Howard all over again.

Introducing Parker, Dunnion, and Sallis

By Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Time to open some more presents.

Last week, the exciting details about the Bluegrass Writers Studio Winter Residency 2015 began to roll out, with the news that poet Matt Rasmussen would be visiting us on January 9th, and that his collection of poetry, Black Aperture, will be our common book. Here are three more of our special guests:

The first, JEFF PARKER, is no stranger to many of us in the Bluegrass Writers Studio. As director of the Disquiet International Program in Lisbon, Portugal, Parker has been a close friend of ours since we began our Summer Residency partnership two years ago. But Parker’s intense focus on oiling the summer program gears means he never has an opportunity to showcase his own remarkable creative writing.

Open