FRONTMATTER

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…

Music for Barns

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Music for Barns was an event curated by M.T. Anderson and held in the chapel of College Hall. Tobin (the T in M.T.) crafted a combined concert/reading that centered around Americana and the pastoral, the rural and the rustic. Tobin was joined on stage by Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked!) and The Aurea Ensemble, a string quartet based out of Rhode Island. Maybe it was just that it was a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Maybe it was just the ambiance of the chapel—the ceiling-tall organ, the greens…

Vermont Book Award Gala

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All the W&P students had the opportunity to volunteer at the Vermont Book Award Gala, which took place on campus in Alumni Hall. I was part of the set-up crew the day before and got to see the place transform into a magical moss bed of purple and gold, then during the event I hid in a corner and sold books. After dinner, Tom Greene and last year's winner Kerrin McCadden (another amazing poet) announced the winner: Major Jackson and his collection Roll Deep (I called it). The poets…

Synezoma and Trailhead

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Last year, my cohort put together a publication called Synezoma (formed from synesthesia and rhizome) from our own writing and art, outside submissions, and images found in the Gary Library archives. We fashioned ourselves into a curatorial team: handling outside submissions, checking image DPIs, working on publicity and social media. One of the main images we focused on was a complex and sprawling root system: What a hulking, crisscrossed, heaping, and gorgeous mess. In the factual and the fantastic,…

Mary Ruefle and Michael Burkard

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Our first reading this year featured Mary Ruefle (my poetry goddess/mama) and Michael Burkard (her husband). They asked if they could adopt me. I said yes! The reading was held on campus, in Cafe Anna, and I've never seen it more packed with students, faculty, and members of the community. Standing room only, folks. Mary read new, unpublished poems and the title essay from her new collection My Private Property, which was about shrunken heads and made me cry. I wanted to kiss everyone around…

How We Got Here

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One of the coolest things about this program is that we all come from very different places—geographically, socially, and philosophically. We're from New York and California, from Alaska and Iowa. We're from the Mississippi delta, from the border of Texas, from a temperate rainforest. We've been in the military and we've been in the theatre; we've been to dungeons and drag shows, and we've been to Southern Baptist churches. We've been skiing for decades, and we've never seen snow until we arrived…

Welcome

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We're back, and we've grown! One of the new cohort members remarked, "This can't be everyone! We can fit in this tiny room," but it seemed so overcrowded compared to the six people I'd become accustomed to. There's lots of new energy, lots of new voices, and the campus feels a lot more active. Our first day back consisted of orientation, our first modular class with Mary Ruefle (!!!), and an afterparty with S'mores and wine.