Invited Talks on Mindful Writing: University and Community Presentations

Laboure College:

Presentation to Faculty and Staff on Mindful Writing. January 9, 2015.

Iowa Writers' Workshop, University of Iowa:

Discussion of forthcoming book Creative Writing Studies: An Introduction to Its Pedagogies
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tom C. Hunley and Alexandria Peary

In this interactive session, we will walk participants through three pedagogies (process, rhetorical and Writing Across the Curriculum) of the fourteen covered in our forthcoming edited collection, Creative Writing Studies: An Introduction to Its Pedagogies (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014). We discuss the types of assignments and classroom activities which open up around each of these pedagogies—as well as how a pedagogy might shape an entire approach to the teaching of creative writing. Participants will be given opportunity to “try out” the models. In our discussion, we also provide brief historical background of each pedagogy and an outline of some of the major concerns. We discuss ways the pedagogies can help situate a MFA candidate on the academic job market. A Q & A will end the session.

Southern Vermont College:

Panel on Art, Truth, and Social Change
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Andre Dubus, Syndey Lea, Megan Mayhew Bergman, and Alexandria Peary

Can art ever reflect truth and, thus, bring about the kind of social change Tim O'Brien spoke about last year when he received the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation? This question has intrigued many, especially since John D'Agata and Jim Fingal somewhat challenged the idea that art can effect social change. In The Lifespan of a Fact, D'Agata and Fingal argue that truth fades once an artist begins to create a poem, a story, a play, a novel.

2015 New Hampshire Poetry Festival

September 19, 2015.

Here's the description of the session: 

Mindful writing is a powerful technique to improve both the overall quality of our writing experience and our poetic production. Mindfulness techniques help poets become more aware of the present moment and bring three powerful benefits to the act of writing. The first benefit of mindfulness is noticing the vacancy of the moment: the true privacy a poet has from any eventual audience. The second benefit includes noticing our self-talk and the types of preconceptions and judgments we carry about our own writing ability. The third benefit of mindfulness involves noticing that self-talk in order to find new content for poems. Mindfulness shows us how a non-stop river of inner talk passes through each moment: a river rich in imagery, phrasing, and ideas. Mindfulness also teaches us about the constant fluctuation of experience such that no state of writing (difficulty or success) is permanent: the reward of this fluctuation is an abundance of possibility. In this presentation, I will explain the tenets of mindful writing and provide participants with hands-on experience with mindful writing techniques, including Yoga for Hands and a mindful eating activity to enhance poetic description. Participants will be guided toward a visceral—not abstract—experience of mindfulness and of the joys of the present moment.

Salem State University:

Presentation to Graduate Students on Academic Writing, Blocks, and Mindfulness. Dr. Lisa Mulman's Graduate Seminar. Monday, September 29, 2014.

Presentation to Honors Program Students on Academic Writing, Blocks, and Mindfulness. Joanna Gonsalves' Senior Honors Seminar. Monday, October 20, 2014.

Presentation to Graduate Students on Academic Writing, Blocks, and Mindfulness. October 2015 and March 2016.

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