Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vermont College of Fine Arts - Summer Residency '09 - Day 2

Day 2? Oh, yikes - tornado time, metaphorically speaking!

It was the first day of workshops. Plus we heard three faculty lectures - Cynthia (DEMYSTIFYING MYSTERIES), Alan Cumyn (WHAT MAKES A GOOD STORY: A PERSONAL INQUIRY) and Louise Hawes (COMMUNION: THE PARTICIPATORY NATURE OF NARRATIVE.) Fine lectures, all three, but I have to say that Alan's was simply brilliant - tomorrow I'll write up a few notes about it. We will be talking about it for a long time - YOU MUST BUY A CD OF THIS LECTURE - truly, it's one of the best I've ever heard. Plus we had five faculty readings. And a group photo. And trips to the new bookshop. And faculty interviews by Third and Fourth Semesters. And end-of-semester reviews with students moving up. And a party for the faculty over at Martin House, thrown by the graduating class. Sampling of stupendous cakes made by Ginger Johnson. Appearance by Larissa Theule and her husband and her new baby boy - much cooing, much begging to be allowed to hold him. Plus autographing of the "yearbooks" (Yours until Niagara Falls, until 2+2=3, until the mountains tumble to the other words, UNTIL ETERNITY....oh yes, there was some singing....)

I was crazy, though, to think I could write up a coherent summary at the end of each day. Intense? Intense! Please forgive. I'll grab free minutes when I can tomorrow, but no guarantees about quality.

Cynthia Leitich Smith says I have permission to go to bed because it's late and it's been a long long day, the kind with not even 15 minute breaks. And she says if you've got a problem with that, see her.

Now, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz - oh, my gosh, no, not yet, not without mentioning one of the highlights of the day! Leda's husband, Bob, brought THE NEW PUPPY, PIPPA, TO MEET EVERYONE!!!!!!! Much tail wagging (the puppy, not us, not Bob.) Pogo also joined in - so we had the siblings.

Margaret and Tim just walked in to the Faculty Lounge (where I am sitting and typing) and they say, "GO TO BED, JULIE!"

I obey.


  1. Thanks for this--it's hard to be away for my first summer in two years. (sniff!)
    If you have a moment (ha!) please post pics of babies, puppies, and of course, the bookstore. And hugs and kisses to all.



  2. Hey, Julie! Thank you for these updates. If you do any poetry challenges at the residency, would you consider posting them here, too? I miss those! xo

  3. Micol and Stephanie - your wishes are my commands! I will have some photos posted tomorrow night, and Stephanie, here's the challenge I sent out to the crowd at my reading:

    Write a "diminishing" poem. The first line must end with a word that then becomes a shorted word in the second line and shorter still in the third, etc. You try to make it as long as possible, but I've never gotten past six lines. Here's an example, because I'm not explaining it well:


    It was easy. Many recommended
    me. I was praised, I was commended
    for my durability; that is, I mended
    fast and often. To mend
    is a fine skill, all the broken men
    told me.

    So the words are 1)recommended, 2) commmended, 3)mended, 4)mend, 5)men, 6)me.

    See how each time, the word is shortened, a word is found (letters in the same order - it's not about jumbling them up and finding something.) Give it a shot.

  4. Julie, thank you! This will be a challenge, the diminishing poem. I'm eager to give it a try. xo