MFA Nugget: What the Heck is a Postmodern Memoir?

MONTPELIER, VT: I would never miss a lecture by Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Patrick Madden. Like his essays, his lectures provoke curiosity and reflection. And like his essays, he remains frustratingly elusive when it comes to the simple takeaways that so work in a blog summation. But in this lecture on the "postmodern memoir" …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: What the Heck is a Postmodern Memoir?

MFA Nugget: The Writer’s Persona in Essays and Blog Posts

MONTPELIER, VERMONT -- To what extent is the "I" a writer puts down the page truly that writer? It's a question that has long vexed personal essayists, in particular since Michel de Montaigne went about as far as any writer could in examining every aspect of himself in his prose. Vermont College of Fine Arts …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: The Writer’s Persona in Essays and Blog Posts

MFA Nugget: Taking Your Reader on a Journey Through Time

Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Douglas Glover has a single question he likes to ask his students, repeatedly. At his lecture here in the MFA in Writing residency Thursday, he said he fills his students' manuscripts with one word: "When?" "Where are the time markers?" asks Glover, a teacher who also finds time to …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: Taking Your Reader on a Journey Through Time

MFA Nugget: Are You Sharing an Anecdote or Writing an Artful Story?

You crack people up at dinner parties. It seems there's no end to your ability to draw a smile with a quick take on a past event. With so much material, writing it should be a cinch. Right? That is what Sarah Braud once thought. Sarah graduates today from the Vermont College of Fine Arts …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: Are You Sharing an Anecdote or Writing an Artful Story?

MFA Nugget: Creativity and Wasting Time

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: The title of the New Year's Eve lecture here at my Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residency was "The Importance of Wasting Time," but for this attendee it could have been titled "Everything The Artist's Road Blog is About." VCFA instructors Connie May Fowler and Patrick Madden engaged both a physical audience …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: Creativity and Wasting Time