Finally finished my essay, “Once More to the Workshop: A Myth Caught in Time,” and emailed it to Dianne Donnelly, who’s editing a collection on the current state of the workshop for Multilingual Matters. I had fun with it, weaving in relevant quotes from E.B. White’s oft-anthologized “Once More the Lake” (read it here) in order to make the point that the “traditional” workshop has been mythologized to the point that it is a frozen icon–much like White’s lake, and his essay. In it, I also got to give my two cents about Dan Barden’s essay (he call’s it a rant, and rightly so) in the most recent issue of Poet’s and Writers, in which he demonstrates a complete lack of awareness of recent research and writing on creative writing pedagogy (recent meaning of the last say, ten years). Honestly folks, how many essays do we have to have re-inventing the wheel (the traditional workshop is problematic? really? what a concept!) before we move on!
In other news, apparently, the fight of save Edith Wharton’s The Mount has garnered quite a bit of attention and now, an official blog at helpsavethemount.blogspotcom. All the important donation info is there, new photos, and, soon, stories from readers about the influence the Mount or Edith Wharton has had on them. I duly contributed. As I mentioned in a previous post, this historic site has had quite an influence on me.
Also baked bread this weekend, in order to make sure my husband and kids have a good stock while I am in Kalamazoo later this week for the Writing Project, and spent a delightful half day with my favorite almost-three-year old sprite, Lillian. We blew bubbles, built with duplo blocks, drew with crayons and cut with scissors–or rather, I assisted with the latter and was formally dubbed a “good helper!”
At some point I’ll post a recipe for the bread; very simple, my husband’s family recipe, but there’s nothing like it.
That’s all for now. Don’t forget about the giveaway.
The traditional workshop is one of those educational fiery hoops that belongs to another generation, but not the one we’re teaching. It’s a tad too sacrosanct, especially considering the changing nature of audience and publication because of the internet.
I can’t wait to read your piece.
Cindi Hoppes says
I am so happy to read your report on Edith Wharton’s home! Also, congratulations on finishing your essay. I wish I had some of your homemade bread right now! I love bread and homemade is the best. You played a lot too. How fun. Have a safe trip. Cindi