Craft Seminars


Ten Poems as Prompts and Possibilities
Jim McKean

The inspiration for this talk comes from poet Marvin Bell, who says one should read and then write, and then repeat that process over and over. I’d like to share ten poems that I’ve found useful in my own work to suggest ways to go about writing more poems and even non-fiction. Sometimes the poems suggest form, sometimes patterns of metaphor, and at other times, they simply suggest a way of looking at the world. In addition, we might discuss the notion of “allusion,” how we refer to the literature of others in our work, and how such reference can help us to tell our stories.


Conversation on Publishing Points of View from Writers, Editors and Agents
Rachel Courage, Jonathan Dee, Barbara Jones, Fred Leebron, and Steve Rinehart


Podcasting for Fun and Profit: No gatekeepers! No content restrictions! Worldwide instantaneous distribution!
Pinckney Benedict

Why aren’t you podcasting? We’ll discuss the philosophy, esthetics, and practical applications of podcasting for writers of poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction.


Inspired by “Spring in Fialta”
Dan Mueller

Vladimir Nabokov’s short story “Spring in Fialta” was first published in Russian in 1936; the English translation appeared in his collections Nine Stories (1947) and Nabokov’s Dozen (1958).  I had just finished teaching the story for the first time at Dartmouth in the fall of 2000 on the very day that the writer Mary Gaitskill came to the college to give a reading and talk.  Afterward, at supper, I mentioned to her apropos of nothing that I’d taught “Spring in Fialta” to my undergraduate fiction writers that afternoon, and she confided in me that Nabokov’s short story had inspired her short story “The Girl on the Plane.”  At first I was dumbfounded; the two stories seemed so different from each other, their respective characters, conflicts, and thematic concerns completely at odds, but the more I compared the two works the clearer their structural similarities became.  In this craft talk, we’ll look to “Spring in Fialta” for inspiration, too, mining passages of this brilliant short story for ore for our own fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.