Category Archives: SWLF

Workshop-Around the World

Twenty years in the future, U. S. A.

 Civilization has changed dramatically in the aftermath of a plague. Communication is limited and travel is prohibited for most. Two sisters are separated by thousands of miles, one in San Francisco and one in Pittsburgh. They want desperately to reunite, but traveling across the country is nearly impossible nowadays.

 Brooke, or Book-book as her sister Lane calls her, just wants to go, anywhere, a step forward is a step closer to Lane. She can’t get a travel permit, what will she do? She boards a train west, an unauthorized passenger on a train going…somewhere. Conditions on the train are inhospitable to say the least, but what did she expect. She arrives at her destination, a labor camp. This train was not restricting passengers, and now Book-book is a prisoner. Forward yes, but now Brooke is trapped and no closer to reaching Lane.

 Conditions are worsening in San Francisco. People are desperate to the point of violence. Lane is not alone; not alone like Book-book. Now she has a choice. Does she follow her partner and flee the city for their own safety? How will Book-book find her?

The above was inspired by conversation with Mackenzie Smith about her novel-in-process.

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A group photo of some of the writers who participated in the creative writing workshops at the National University of Timor-Leste in Dili. Mackenzie Smith (center).

We are hanging in suspense this week on Inspiration Dissemination as our guest, Mackenzie Smith, first year M. F. A. in Creative Writing, briefly described novel she is writing, tentatively titled, The Clearest Way into the Universe. For Mackenzie, this novel, which she plans to use as her thesis project, started out as a short story she wrote before coming to OSU. Now she is wrapped in this novel, “chewing” over the fine details as she rides her bike, browses the grocery store, and chats with colleagues at workshop. Her message for students and young writers is, “writing is a process of thinking.”

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A “kudos wall” at the launch party and reading in Timor-Leste where audience members left compliments and words of encouragement for the writers.

Mackenzie really is writing all the time and she is no stranger to workshops. She is a former Luce Scholar in India and Fulbright Fellow in Montenegro where she ran writing workshops and hosted story clubs. She just returned from Timor-Leste where she co-organized a writing workshop that resulted in an online zine featuring original compositions from Timorese writers. Additionally, Mackenzie is the Non-fiction editor for a literary magazine Print-oriented Bastards.

 

 

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Belina Maia Do Rosario reads her work in Dili, Timor-Leste at the launch party and reading for the zine, Writing Around Memory and Place.

Mackenzie likes that creative writing allows you to expand upon your interests and experiences. In her novel, Mackenzie brings her experience traveling and conveys the human emotion of uncertainty when making big decisions that affect your future and your familial relationships. Mackenzie writes because, “when people consume a piece of art, they change the way they think, the way they act, and the way they feel. Art can change their lives and a little at a time – art can change the world.”

You won’t want to miss this interview. Hear an except from The Clearest Way into the Universe read by the author and learn more about Mackenzie’s unique and adventurous journey to graduate school by tuning into 88.7 FM KBVR Corvallis or stream the show live at 7 pm on Sunday April, 17.

Write About Now

And it was at that age… Poetry arrived in search of me.

I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river.

I don’t know how or when,

No they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence,

But from a street I was summoned,

From the branches of night, abruptly from the others,

Among violent fires,

Or returning alone,

there I was without a face

and it touched me.

 

– Pablo Neruda

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As humans, writing—whether it is fiction, history, of even science and technology—is one of the primary ways in which we communicate and describe the world around us. Tomorrow evening, Sunday, October 10th, André Habet of the School of Writing, Literature, and Film joins us on Inspiration Dissemination to discuss his thesis on rhetoric and composition teaching style in classrooms in Belize.

After falling in love with poetry in High School in Belize, where he was raised, André decided to pursue a creative writing degree in the United States. Now André studies how the process of writing itself is taught in the classroom, something that has a rich literature in the United States, but has been very little attention in the country of Belize. In writing, composition is the form and style of putting a written work together. Different ways of teaching composition in school have different theoretical foundations and different ideological agendas, and these can sometimes have a powerful impact on the way we grow up to view the world around us.

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To lean more about André’s research and his personal journey, tune in on Sunday night to 88.7FM KBVR Corvallis at 7PM PST, or stream the show live online at http://kbvr.com/listen!

Yes, This is being recorded: Having a conversation about 21st century technology with 20th century tape recordings

In the 21st century, the advent of cell phone video recordings and social media has made it easier for the voices of protesters to be heard. From the Arab Spring to the Ferguson protests, new technology has been instrumental in showing the world an unfiltered glimpse into the events as they happened. This method of communication did not exist before, but it had influences.

Tonight at 7PM PST, we speak with Rich Collins, a Masters student in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film about the influence of Zora Neale Hurston, Hunter S. Thompson, and gonzo journalism on the documentation of 21st century protests. We’ll walk through Collins’ journey about how his passion and deep interest for gonzo journalism has lead him to trying to studying literature and culture here at Oregon State University.

Tune in on 88.7FM in Corvallis at 7PM PST or you can stream it live online at http://kbvr.com/listen