FRONTMATTER

Lewis "Buddy" Nordan, "Owls"

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Lewis Nordan, whose nickname was “Buddy,” stood in the same Southern Gothic cathedral as Faulkner and O’Connor. Over the course of his life he wrote four novels, three short story collections, and one “fictional memoir” before his death in 2012. Nordan played with expectations in unique ways: his uniqueness was magical realism by way of small-town Mississippi, deep in the Delta, his native home. Lyrical tales of singing llamas and ghosts and a dead boy’s sentient eyeball—a reference…

The Dinner Club

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Spend your first few weeks wandering around a dorm, and eventually a dinner party will break out. Says W&P student Lauren Lang (posting to the program's Facebook page): “having a meal at a table is much better with friends when being away from family.” Five W&P students, gathering in the kitchen to concoct various meals (rice, squash, steamed vegetables and shrimp, pasta, a single egg), before sitting down to take stock of what brought them together: it's a thing of beauty. We writers…

A Nice Night For Our First Reading

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This past Friday, after a long day of class, the students and faculty of the Writing & Publishing program gathered in Cafe Anna to hear three professors give a reading, the first of the year for us in the MFA program. It was a fine showing, and the little cafe downstairs was packed. Below are scenes from a Friday afternoon at VCFA. Mary Ruefle, above, has written 11 collections of poetry, and she read from her latest work, 2016's My Private Property. For the past two weeks, she has been conducting…

What I’ve Learned About Montpelier, After Being Here for a Total of Three Weeks

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Montpelier is a tiny blip of a town, just one sign on the freeway; blink on Interstate 89, barreling toward Montreal, and you’ll miss your exit. Its charming brick-façade downtown could fold up and fit in a cardboard box. It maintains all the vitals to a functioning society: a Thai restaurant, a dimly-lit coffee shop, a hip brunch place with bottomless mimosas, a tiny pet store with a trio of dreadlocked Bergamasco sheepdogs that loaf around like sentient low-energy mops. All the Subaru drivers…

AWP

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This year, all of us MFA W&P students got to go down to DC and take over a train car, an Air BnB, and eventually a city block-sized convention center. Some highlights include: a panel on women of color's responses to Emily Dickinson that made me cry, Sam Sax casually walking by while I was in line for a coffee, seeing poet friends from undergrad, and seeing some pretty famous writers completely sloshed. In this spirit, I offer some alternatives for what AWP may stand for: AWP: Anxious…

Rauner Special Collections Library

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As part of Trinie Dalton's Fairy Tale class, we took a field-trip to the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth to view some old, kick-ass illustrated books. Above is a collage of some of my favorites. I have a bit of an obsession with both libraries (my mom was a children's librarian; I've done 5 years of work-study and fellowships in libraries) and illustrations (I was a design major). I wouldn't quite call it a fetish, but it's getting close. So, this field-trip was basically perfect…

Halloween in Vermont

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Or, Everywhere is Haunted and You Should Know About It Or, The Median Age is Under Fifty After All Or, How strong did you make this Russian drink? Montpelier is very into Halloween, and there're all sorts of stories about hauntings in the area, including our very own Anna. It's also the only time of year where I'm convinced that there are actually children here—so many children. One of my cohort, C.J., has an apartment right off campus that is the prime spot for candy-giving, and every year…

Liz Powell and David Huddle

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It's sometimes nice to escape the gravitational pull of Montpelier, and one of my favorite places to escape to is Phoenix Books in Burlington. It's especially nice when I also get to see one of my favorite professors/poets/people Liz Powell read from a her new book, Willy Loman's Reckless Daughter and snag a copy and a hand-printed broadside. The book-launch was a co-launch with David Huddle (who we read in Liz's class and was nominated for the Vermont Book Award) for his new book, My Immaculate…

Graphic Design Residency

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My favorite program to cohabitate with is Graphic Design. I majored in design in undergrad; they're my people. When they're on campus for a residency, they have two student exhibitions as well as a bunch of lectures, including "lecture bombs" that happen without notice. Last year, I went to one that was about the history and transformation of the I <3 NY T-shirts, and another about an artist collective who went to an island off the coast of Maine in order to attempt to commune with the ghosts…