Inside Look

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?")

Learning the Scope of the Ropes

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     I realized the other day that the title of the magazine "Poets & Writers" draws a distinction between people who compose their thoughts into stanzas and people who don't. It occurred to me that maybe, at the risk of losing hundreds of readers, I should come out and say it: I cross genres. In fact, not only do I write poetry and creative nonfiction, I dabble in fiction from time to time. 

     While I'm a creative person, and I sometimes use colorful language, I'm usually a black-and-white thinker. Life/death, good/evil, right/wrong. By that measure, I should agree with the above magazine, incorporated: you're either writing poetry or you're not.

Tune That Name

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Practicing Practice

Lisbon street art  Credit: KRT

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Many writers have yet to develop a reverence for unseen work. A blank page and a field of white with a blinking cursor are held in mind as precious marble that cannot be marred with misstrokes. But there are many ways to hammer and chisel, and plenty of stone to work with before you get close to the figure within. The angles of the chisel and the strength of the hammer blows must be learned in order to carve the figure once you come to the right place.

Miradouro, the Overlook

Sunset at Costa da Caparica, Portugal. Credit: Kristen R. Thompson

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Open