June 03, 2010
Later this summer, I will spend five days (July 13-17) serving on the faculty of Cleveland State University's "Imagination" Conference. I love the thumbnail portrait of Cleveland on their website:
We overlook a busy harbor, the Indians’ state-of-the-art ballpark, and a dramatic downtown skyline, but this is no ivory tower. The student spectrum ranges from multiple earrings to pinstripes to blue and pink collars. Writers come here with a shirtsleeve workshop outlook and the traffic in ideas is eclectic and blunt.
The line-up of my fellow faculty-authors is plain ol' jaw-dropping...
--CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY IMAGINATION CONFERENCE / 2010 WORKSHOP FACULTY--
Fiction: Sam Lipsyte, ZZ Packer, Salvatore Scibona, Jess Walter
Poetry: Olena Kalytiak Davis (& me)
Creative Nonfiction: Rebecca Skloot
Writing for Stage and Screen: Mickey Birnbaum
[Full bios here]
I never thought I would have the opportunity to write "Olena Kalytiak Davis (& me)," but there you have it. Two of these folks--ZZ Packer and Salvatore Scibona--are expected to be included on the New Yorker's vaunted "20 Under 40" list of fiction writers to watch, which is in the issue that lands on newsstands within the week. And I've written of my admiration of Rebecca Skloot before. Not only did she write a kick-ass book, she wrote a kick-ass book that spawned a Law & Order episode.
Attendees will both take part in workshops and receive individual manuscript conferences; faculty will give both craft talks and formal readings. Not to mention the reception upon reception. I'm not sure if there's a "French House" (a la Sewanee), but if not, just look for me with my flask.
You should come. If you're a student, you can get four hours of academic credit at the undergrad or graduate levels (or 3 hours of NEOMFA credit). If you're not applying as a student, trust me--you're still going to get a lot more out of this than that trip to Vegas you've been saving up for. Applications are due June 15.