This program is made possible through a generous gift from Ruth and Russell Bolton
in conjunction with the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Semester

It's time for another semester of the Bolton Writing Workshops!

Join us in the Summit Hall cinema room for exercises in the art of poetic lying this Thursday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m.

See you there!

P.S. Mark your calendars for the final reading, featuring Glenn Taylor: Sunday, April 27, at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Summit Hall Discovers Sushi in a Field, and Sunday's Bolton Reading!

In our last Bolton workshop, the writers, Hannah, and I discovered objects in a proverbial field--a tomato, a piece of sushi, and a circus peanut (and we got to keep them!). We also used Lia Purpura's haunting voice to inspire flash nonfiction pieces, which yielded surprising realizations: one writer's soon-to-be story about how a circus peanut in the crack of a sidewalk mimics her character's circus-like life; a symbolic rotting tomato behind a fence used to demonstrate grief at a loved one's funeral; a description of sushi's and rice's relationship as a metaphor for love; and some striking utterances: "Alice and her acid wonderland," "I'm too dense," "I spent all of August unearthing it," "I smashed a VCR in a church once. No one seemed to care."

One of our writers noticed that we covered each of the summer months in our writing: June, July, and August. We must be craving some sunshine, so we brought it to that comfy cinema room in Summit!

Join us Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4PM in Honors Hall for a reading by our wonderful Bolton writers and our guest reader, the equally wonderful, James Harms! The reading is free and open to the public.

Summit Hall writers, see you next semester for more fun exercises!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bag of Goodies

See you writers and dabblers tonight in the Summit Hall cinema room at 6:30 for fun writing exercises and Hannah's bag of doodads and goodies, just in time for some pre-Thanksgiving break writing and relaxation!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Last night, in the Summit Hall cinema room, over powdered donuts and Hershey Kisses, we discussed poetry and the "you"--specifically, how the "you" appears in three poems, "Scary, No Scary" by Zachary Schomburg, "This Is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams, and "Fierce Girl Playing Hopscotch" by Alice Fulton. Conversation turned to things that terrify us, sadden us, and, surprisingly, the toys of our childhood--legos, gloworms, furbies, barbies, baby-be-mine . . .

We then got to the good stuff; we wrote in the style of our favorite poem above to create specific scenes of Morgantown, our dorms/apartments, the playground, and our childhood homes. The challenge was to have a "you" appear.

With poetry, every listener seems to be dazzled by different things, and, indeed, we all liked various things about each other's resulting poems--the comforting imagery of a rural home, the confessions of simple wishes on the playground, energetic sounds sparking down the page, snapshots of High Street, like an abandoned Sprite can, an immediate setting giving way to discovery of the self. The theme was, we liked what we heard.

We discovered that it is amazing what you can write in just half an hour (counting our conversation, inspiration, and pre-thought as writing time). We all created nearly finished poems that both Hannah and I walked away still admiring. Thanks for the rarity of such listening and thought and meditation on why we write :)

Next meeting, Hannah will share more work to admire and write from. Come meet us in the cinema room (you really have to see it, to know what it is!) of Summit Hall, Monday, October 21 at 6:30PM!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Write Because…

Terry Tempest Williams wrote a piece listing the reasons why she writes. Among them are things like, “I write to record what I love in the face of loss”, “I write as an exercise in pure joy,” and, “I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change.”

This year Christina Seymour and I, Hannah McPherson, invite you to join us at Summit Hall and find your why’s, the reasons that call upon you to write. We’ll experiment with different genres, and, in case you need an extra nudge, there’ll even be snacks!

We’ll be located in the Cinema Room in Summit Hall on Mondays: 9/16, 10/21, 11/11, and 12/2 at 6:30 each evening. A final reading will be held on December 8th. 
We look forward to writing with you! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Upcoming Fall Dates

Hi, everyone!

Patric and I (Morgan) are looking forward to holding writing workshops in Honors four times this semester. We look forward to seeing  and spending time writing with you all! 

The dates are:

September 23rd from 6:30-7:30 PM

October 7th from 6:30-7:30 PM

October 28th from 6:30-7:30 PM

November 11th from 6:30-7:30 PM

Final Reading: December 8th

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time there was a graduate student who went to the Honors Residence Hall about once a month for the Bolton Writing Workshop...

For our last Bolton Writing Workshop, the Honors Hallians and I discussed fairy tales. After being inspired by the phrases "once upon a time" or "there once was a..." or "in a ___ land," we decided that these phrases are almost magical. This storytelling part of us seems ingrained as a part of who we are as humans. Next, we read from a modern day fairy tale and created new fairy tales of our own. As always, I was impressed with the creativity and beautiful language that emerged after fifteen minutes of writing. These women focused on syntax and repetition and image to create vivid worlds.

I have loved being able to work with these Honors Hall Boltoneers the past two years. It really has been a pleasure.