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Inside Look

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.

Jen Parks Writes a Novel, part 2: Lost in a Good Book

By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio

            I like to think that I have a good sense of direction. I can usually remember how to get to a place, even if I’ve only been there once, committing to memory tiny details like: turn right at the mailbox with the cardinal picture on it or turn left at the house with the tractor tire on its side in the front yard. Every once in a while, though, despite my memory, I get lost. Really lost.

Welcoming Rasmussen

By Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio

As the weather turns crisp, it’s again that time of year to think ahead to the holidays. Quality time with family, soul-searching, gifts. And for those of us in the Bluegrass Writers Studio community, there’s that second holiday season to anticipate. A time to gather our creative writing family together from all across the country, to fully engage our craft and its meaning, and to share in the gift of time with our visiting writers.

Our seventh annual Bluegrass Writers Studio Winter Residency.

"Suffering With"

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Clips from a conversation with Derek Nikitas, Director, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     The most important thing it takes to be a good fiction writer rarely gets talked about. You have to suffer compassion for people, fellow humans. All of them. In imagination and in life. To a degree that is past responsible or reasonable. If you harden your heart at all, you will fail. You'll fake it or you'll forget it. And I need to hear this again, as much as anyone.

     Compassion differs from empathy in that it is "suffering with," not simply understanding why.

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