We trudge around the snowy campus, wrapped up like puffy literary beetles. There's something convivial about it all, though, and something ritualistic as we take on and shed layers through the day. Our visiting editor, Wendy Lamb, said that she thinks magic is closer to the surface in the cold. There's certainly something in the air--I always spend residency marveling at my colleagues, but the lectures this time seem particularly marvel-worthy. The topic of setting has inspired some very personal reflections, from Liza Ketchum's discussion of memory and place to Jackie Briggs-Martin's exultation of the imagination to the inspiration Lisa Jahn-Clough found in the stray dogs of Puerto Rico. Claire Rudolph Murphy spoke eloquently of finding personal narrative in conjunction with our story's narrative and inspiration in our struggles. "Every challenge in my life," she said, "is about world-building."
We had our first two grad readings tonight--Andrew Cochran and Christine Hepperman. They were both outstanding, and I was so proud of the program tonight. Though I guess the students should get some credit, too.