Monday, June 20, 2016

Bennington journal (June 2016 edition)

My beloved classmates – those who are graduating with me – are giving their lectures as we prepare to complete our MFAs in Creative Writing at Bennington College.

And per my usual, I’m jotting down notes about anything that interests me. 

Snippets of their lectures, lines from the poems they are reciting or stories they are reading as part of the graduation requirements.

And I’m finding wisdom, I’m finding mastery, I’m finding love for this world of writing, this world we finally realized we had no choice but to occupy, to stake out as our own.

Some excerpts (including a few choice bits from professors' lectures and readings):

“The little headstones of a season we will never sip” (Lucas)

“I was paralyzed by my own desire to be good” (Liz)

“All that chatter of being good or better than someone else fell away by not looking at the page” in a drawing class (Liz)

Advice to a young poet: “Listen to how people talk….Love what’s available” (Ed Ochester, professor)

And

"I cried out, 'My son, my only son'" (Ochester, again)

“Hers was a past I felt I had a right to know” (Rowena)

"That was so long ago." "Not for her." (Rowena) 

Paraphrasing: “Put people somewhere…given them a passion, an obsession” (Julie quoting Amy Hempel)

“Worm girl” (the name of a belittled childhood friend from an essay – Gwen) 

"Write about what you fear is true" -- not what is true (Bret Anthony Johnston, professor)


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