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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Arnoldites Talk About When They Talk About Love

At Arnold Hall’s second Bolton Workshop, we talked about love. We talked about the new loves we discovered in Morgantown and the old loves we left behind in our hometowns. (I took the liberty of compiling lists.)

Morgantown loves: independence, weekends, diversity, new friends, all-you-can-drink Icees in the cafeteria, the locals, acceptance, seasons, college atmosphere, pepperoni rolls, Eliza’s , mountainscape, daily access to NY Times (small town and strict father), Bolton, the Rec, free sporting events, pedestrian lifestyle, Chick-fil-A, opportunities, free activities, the Meal Plan, view of Morgantown from room, the architecture of the old buildings, FOOTBALL, semester long library checkouts, Ogawa

Hometown misses: big and comfy bed, parents picking up the bill, the beach, pork rolls, cats, family, oldie-but-goodie friends, flat roads, AC, homecooking, cable, reliable mail, feeling safe (current shooting at the nightclub Karma), gigantic TV, car, mom’s food, free time, backyard, the lake, museums

After sharing our heart pangs and longings, we fit our love inside fourteen lines which took a lot of deleting because we’ve got big hearts over at Arnold. How does your love measure up?

Come join us on October 24 at 7:30PM for a Halloween themed workshop.

Did I mention cookies?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls or Momma?

What makes you gaga about WVU? What do you miss about home? Spell out your love with a sonnet tonight at Arnold Hall, 7:30PM!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fieldcrest's First

After much anticipation, our first workshop at Fieldcrest went off without a hitch. We had just enough students to fill the dinner table at the RFL apartment and to have a close knit experience relating home life to Morgantown life. While there's always room for more, we were content in our close group.

Doc ordered some pizza for all of us as a small treat for those who answered the call-- whether it was out of interest, requirement, or just because the RAs made such a good sales pitch. We had some good discussion about the seedy late-night life of Morgantown and how there really is no cooking like home cooking. While we all were tired at the end of our session, Isaac included (see below) I think we all would have stuck around for more socializing if it wasn't for the fire alarm going off for an unexpected drill...


(Isaac at the end of the night...)

I already can't wait for our next workshop.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Workshop Schedule...

Here's our fall line-up of workshops. Check with your RA & RFL for more info. Hope to see you there!

Bennett with Lisa Beans: Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Dec. 1

Fieldcrest with Ben Bishop: Sept. 20, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, Dec. 6

Brooke with Matt London: Sept. 8, Oct. 20, Nov. 10, Dec. 1

Braxton with Andi Stout: Aug. 30, Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 1

Dadisman/Stalnaker with Justin Anderson: Sept. 7, Oct. 12, Nov. 9, Nov. 30

Arnold with Connie Pan: Aug. 29, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28

Honors with Rebecca Thomas: Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1

Summit with Melissa Atkinson: Sept. 14 & tba

Monday, September 19, 2011

Calliope

This just in from Mark Brazaitis, Director of Creative Writing:

A meeting of all students interested in working on Calliope, WVU's award-winning undergraduate literary magazine, will be held on Tuesday , October 4, at 7:30 in room 130 of Colson Hall. Students interested in the top editorial positions (editor-in-chief, managing editor, fiction editor, poetry editor, etc.) as well as students interested in contributing in other ways to the editorial and publication process are encouraged to attend. No experience is necessary! Enthusiasm is a plus!

Students who are not able to attend the meeting but would like to be on the Calliope staff should email or call the magazine's faculty sponsor, Mark Brazaitis, at Mark.Brazaitis@mail.wvu.edu/304-293-9707.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Preview

We're kicking off our second workshop for Braxton Tower tonight, Sept. 13! We'll be in the Residential Annex. 7-8pm. See you there!

Preview: Have you experienced the PRT? The bus? What's your transportation story?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Flashy Nonfiction

I’m not going to lie; I was nervous as I walked up to Honors Hall on Tuesday. This being my first Bolton, I didn’t know what to expect. What if no one showed up? What if everyone hated the prompt? What if everyone was just plain mean?

My fears were quickly put aside as I stood in the RFL’s book-lined living room. A girl walked in, holding a notebook to her chest. “I can’t wait to write,” she said. I knew then that everything would be fine.

Six students put their homework aside for an hour and joined us at the dining room table. Eating cake and cookies, we wrote in between bites. The topic: dorm life. The rules: 50 words or less. Flash nonfiction. We discussed the importance of each word in writing, and I reminded them how flash fiction or nonfiction makes the writer pay attention to each word. When dealing with only a few words, each word has to carry its own weight. Frivolous words get thrown out quicker than a bowling ball in a sinking canoe.

The time came to share, and after the first student read, I wondered if they even needed any reminders on writing. They covered it all: roommate admiration, budding romance at an open mic, the enticement of chanting coming through open vents, the description of a flyer on a wall, the wonderment of living alone, the dangerous ground of hair spray in bathrooms amongst girls. Each of them reminded me of something that I forgot to mention in my mini-lecture: the importance of a final line. All of them had one final poignant sentence. Yes, I know, the whole students teaching the teacher something has been done, but at times clich├ęs are true.

I left that night almost skipping out of the dorm. After all, any night that combines writing and cake is a pretty successful night in my book.

Next up: Fiction on October 4th.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankfully, It Didn't Backfire

It was a dark and stormy night during the first Bolton Workshop at the quaint Dadisman/Stalnaker RFL House on Wednesday. No, wait. For the first time in days, it wasn’t a dark and stormy night. Quite pleasant, actually. Thanks for taking the night off, Irene.

It probably would have had nothing to do with the weather anyway that RFL Dr. David Pariser and his wife, Live/Learn Community Specialist Debbi Pariser, were able to round up eight students, mostly freshman, for the evening.

Now, maybe it was the promise of the free food that made them so enthusiastic to be there, but I’m going to say they were just excited about the prospect of writing. Who isn't? And, they just seemed like a good bunch of ambitious students. After a meet-and-greet in the Pariser’s comfortable, wood-trimmed living room, we adjourned to the dining room for a wonderful spread of herb chicken, ziti (?), and other accoutrements. I know. It sounds like typical wedding food. But it was a cut above, catered by the university.

We ate and wrote and talked about writing and ate and read our writing with our mouths full and ate some more. It felt like a Parisian gathering of expatriates. Speaking of which, our writing topic was home. And we talked about Hemingway’s notion that a writer cannot truly write about “home” unless he/she is far away from it. Most of the students are pretty far away from it, and I was worried for a moment that bringing this Hemingway thing up might have backfired and only serve to roil up homesickness. But it didn’t.

True to Hemingway’s theory, they each turned out beautiful, true, panoramic meditations on the subject. They weren’t meditations of longing. And I was impressed by their natural writing talents and their seekers’ creativity and I look forward to reading their pieces once they’ve got them in finished shape (they only had ten minutes).

I think at the next workshop (Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m.), we’re having steak and writing fiction. So come on over.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dorm Chic is not an Oxymoron

It's hard to make dorm rooms seem classy, but my sophomore year I made it happen. Sitting in the middle of my dorm room, my roommate and I had a mini living room complete with two chairs and a coffee table. We even had a coffee table book about early 20th Century circus folks. It was high class living. Granted, the chairs were beach chairs with sheets thrown over them, and the coffee table was an overturned milk crate, but man, did we make it look good. It was the perfect place to watch America's Next Top Model after a long day of classes.

Tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Honors Dorm we will be sharing similar tales of wonder (or woe) about dorm life. Topics may include: moving day feats of glory, roommate woes or hilarity, midnight fire alarms, and other such joys. Just like milk crate coffee tables, this event is going to be magnificent. Be there!

London Sessions

Hello!

It's about that time:

this week marks the beginning of workshops with Matt London.

In the dorms.

Your mom isn't invited.

Here are the dates and times:

Sept. 8
Oct. 20
Nov. 10
Dec. 1

All times @ 5 pm.

Whether your mom is invited is open to debate.

Okay. See you there.

Email me (mlondon@mix.wvu.edu) with questions.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nah Nah Nah Non-fiction

Being a first-time Boltonite, I had a nagging fear walking up the hill from Colson to Arnold Hall as I passed the gaggles on porches and the gaggles primped for parties: I thought I might be writing non-fiction exercises by myself. To my delight, three already talented writers (English and Journalism majors) showed up, and Arnold RAs didn't even have to pay, bribe, or lure them with pizza! Little did they know, they were in for a treat (English, of course. No, not scones). For our ice breaker workshop, we combined the forms of the six word memoir (the name pretty much explains itself) and hint fiction (a story of twenty-five words or less that suggests a larger story) to make literary history!

We started the workshop by writing as many six word memoirs as our brains would allow inspired by the theme of transitions. We each picked three of our favorites to share with the group and explained what they meant. A few gems:

"Went for a walk, started running." (Jordan O'Brian)
"I need more trees around here." (Mariah Painter)
"This situation only happens to me." (Chad Kriss)

Then we picked our favorite of the three and expanded on it in twenty-five words or less. Here, Bolton Writing Workshop friends and fans, is the first ever piece of hint non-fiction to grace the web (I think). Drum roll regardless!

"I Shouldn't Have Any Married Peers"
by Mariah Painter

I remember how she wanted to be a vet and help animals.
Now she thinks only of housekeeping.
We wanted to go to college together.

And they say creative people can't add. Pfffsh.