Inside Look

Truth, Justice, and the Poetic Way

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

 

    In my writing, I often explore injustice, oppression, and the brackish waters of human rights and resilience. Not only major events, but the smaller things, times when things just don’t go right. There are exceptions, of course, poems with more tender sentiments, but most have to do with loss on some level.  I guess that’s the soul of my poems; then I craft the bodies. I’m very concerned with accuracy of form and sound, and making the poem work on multiple levels. I guess you could say I want to do justice to the subject. 

A Little More Conversation

By Bernie Deville, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     One of the major reasons I am carrying away a cache of fresh thinking from Bluegrass Writers Studio’s Summer Residency at Disquiet International is that I opted  to take one of the extra Tuesday/Thursday morning classes. This was not a real burden on my schedule due to having all my line edits complete before coming to Portugal, and the class itself only met four times though there was homework for every class.

Luso: Portuguese for Portugese

By Bernie Deville, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     I've just gotten back from Summer Residency with Bluegrass Writers Studio, at The Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. Disquiet focuses on writers and readings, but they also introduced us to cultural institutions around the city. The Luso-American Society hosted two different talks, and I reserved precious baggage space for one of their magazines that talks about their aims and goals, as well as summer programs for students, which I might be able to spread around Lexington.

Writing on The Wall

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     In the last few posts, I’ve been reflecting on the selective nature of memory and how songs can play a part (ba-dump tish) in how things link together in our minds.

     I still remember the first time I heard Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) on the radio. My sister and I were going to spend the night at my aunt Sue’s. After picking us up, she stopped for takeout, leaving the car radio on for us. When she got back in she said, “Oh, this is a good one” and turned the radio up luxuriously louder than it was ever allowed at my house. It was clear this song was to be listened to, not talked over.

The Impersistence of Memory

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Tired of "Everything"

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Every once in a while, it happens that you're present at the beginning of a phenomenon. You may or may not be aware of the enduring quality of the moment you're witnessing, as you live it. But years later, you'll be able to recollect that moment within an inch of its life. Younger generations will listen to your tales with their mouths and eyes agape.

Conditionally Yours

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Maybe every writer has a few conditions they have to fulfill to get into the writing groove. Our Fearless Leader allegedly has to -win or lose - play one game of solitaire before composing. Having your favorite coffee cup at the perfect temperature and tangent to your notebook may not guarantee a good day's work, but lacking those circumstances, failure is much more likely. Or so it seems in my creative little mind.  

Faculty Facts: Bob Johnson

Bluegrass Writers Studio student Jen Parks interviews faculty member Bob Johnson, beginning in the style popularized by Bernard Pivot and James Lipton.

What is your favorite word?

No Soap Radio

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     This weekend, I attended a stage performance designed to elicit the full range of emotions. I'm good at verklempt, and I can do anger, but after the show, I spoke with one of the actresses about comedy. I just can't take it seriously. (Ba-dump tish.) We live in an LOL society and I must admit, I very rarely am made to laugh out loud.

     There's an episode of Scrubs where J.D. is dating a woman who never laughs at his jokes. She just says, "That's so funny." It drives him nuts and he breaks up with her. Her reports back to Turk, perplexed: "She's not saying, 'That's so sad.' She's actually crying." Now that's funny.

Faculty Facts: Nancy Jensen

Bluegrass Writers Studio student Chris Dixon interviews faculty member Nancy Jensen, beginning in the style popularized by Bernard Pivot and James Lipton.

What is your favorite word?

Hmm…I’ve always loved the sound of the word ecclesiastical.

What is your least favorite word?

I don’t think I have one, not really: every word is exactly the right word sometime.

What turns you off?

What turns me off as related to writing?  Any work that signals the writer has never really listened—to real people, to the heart, to the sound of great literature.

What turns you on? (Chris's note: For these two, I really, really want to rephrase them as, "What writing-related things turn you on/off?")

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