When Writers Gather

My first MFA Residency experience has been one of absolute joy and a profound sense of belonging which I don’t know that I’ve experienced more than a few times in my life. I am living and working and eating among 125+ others who are seeking the same thing I seek. Doing the same thing I do. Striving for the same thing for which I strive. Whatever the genre, the age, education, number of publications, we are all artists, working to improve, to perhaps some day perfect, our art.

Although it is only halfway through, I can already say with certainty that this has been the most rewarding experience of my creative life. Workshop every day. Lectures on craft and on elements of writing that inspire me to go out and live the way a writer should! Readings by faculty members who are brilliant. Purchasing faculty books and not knowing which one to read first. If a heaven for writers exists, this week must a peek around the corner, a tiny window, a door knocker.

Needless to say, the creativity is so pervasive one can feel it in the air, a physical energy, a presence that follows down sidewalks, into buildings, up stairs. If writers could feel this energy all the time, surly they would get a lot more work done. There is a love here, for words and for what we can convey and create and imagine while using them. There is a camaraderie and a respect in everyone for everyone else, everyone knowing that we have come here, together, from the corners of a vast country to seek out and strive for the very same things.

I walk a few blocks in the morning, two fiction writers behind me discussing the difficulty they have presenting round antagonists, the opposite of their beloved protagonist heroes.

I pass a group lunching beneath an umbrellaed cafe table, one reading poetry aloud to the other, who listens with interest and respect.

I seek a place to sit, be still, and ponder.

I feel incredibly blessed to be here, and relish that while much has happened, much is still to come.

A taste, for you, of what has transpired here, is this Sonata No.3, “Moon,” composed by Jeremy Beck – an excerpt of which I saw performed live on Sunday. Enjoy! And may you be inspired.

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