Reunions

Alumni College 2018

Writers' Workshop: Reedies Writing Resistance

Word Workers of the World Unite: You have nothing to lose but your quatrains!

 

5/14/2018: Limited spots are available for the lecture-only registration, full registration is closed! 

Introduction by Mike Teskey, Director of Alumni Initiatives

Dear alumni and friends,

As I prepare for my final Alumni College in my role at Reed, I am immeasurably pleased that Alumni College, the traditional precursor to Reunions, has evolved into a program that is inspired by and features incredibly talented Reed alumni. Over the course of the past 17 years, the most enduring feature of the Reedies who I have come to know and admire is the fearlessness with which they approach ideas. As I work with alea adigweme ’06 on assembling and structuring a faculty of alumni to serve as teachers, mentors, and panelists, I reflect on 20th century American writers who were bold, brave, and groundbreaking in their ideas and work, and how we are better for it—Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, Langston Hughes, Ursula LeGuin, and so many more. If you are an aspiring writer or an established one who wants to return to Reed and share your ideas and their embodiment in the written word, I invite and embolden you do to so.

Sincerely,

Mike Teskey
Director, Alumni Initiatives

Program Director's Invitation by alea adigweme 06

Each summer, over three days of lectures, conferences, panels, and Q&As, Alumni College brings Reedies together for a course focused on a timely topic that’s of interest to our community. Primarily taught by alumni experts, previous sessions have broached issues like global inequities in access to water, diversity, healthcare, and public education in the United States. This June, I invite writers, editors, publishers, booksellers, and other “word workers”—at all career stages and skill levels—to join us at Alumni College 2018. Our alumni-led writing workshops, talks, and panels will cover everything from literary craft to the business of writing. In honor of the 25th anniversary of Reed’s Multicultural Resource Center (which will be celebrated at Reunions 2018), Alumni College will center writing as and for political change.  

In the era of Black Lives Matter, catastrophic planet failure, #MeToo, refugee crises, and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. and abroad, cultural production has never been a more important tool in the arsenals of individuals and activist collectives working at every scale. Where one might have previously understood the “local” and the “global” or the “public” and the “private” as binaries or even as oppositional poles on spectra, the technological affordances of the internet and the proliferation of pocket-sized telephone-computers have made it blatantly clear that these concepts are inextricable, that the local “is” the global as much as the personal “is” political, that problematic understandings of the private have primarily served to enable public figures to hide decades of predatory behaviors with impunity. Thus, our contemporary media landscape has given us more than a superabundance of dank memes, strangers’ cat videos, and other exquisite procrastinatory pleasures. Though traditional publishing is far from breathing its last gasps, the aforementioned media have facilitated the documentation and circulation of undeniable evidence of systemic injustices and provided creators of even the most niche content with opportunities to connect directly with audiences both where they live and around the world.  

Whether one is a citizen journalist focused on issues facing vulnerable populations in your municipality, a poet writing about climate change in the natural world, a podcaster documenting state-level political shenanigans, an essayist mining the personal for the relatable about human behavior, or a science fiction writer working on a semi-autobiographical account of your own #MeToo, words can expose wrongdoings, excavate forgotten histories, proclaim the inconvenient truths on which global survivals hinge, demand accountability, and imagine more just relationships, communities, and worlds. Writing, perhaps most crucially, is also a way to reaffirm one’s own humanity. As the Xicana writer Cherríe Moraga wrote:

Fundamentally, I started writing to save my life. Yes, my own life first. I see the same in my students — the dark, the queer, the mixed-blood, the violated — turning to the written page with a relentless passion, a drive to avenge their own silence, invisibility, and erasure as living, innately expressive human beings.

During Alumni College, you'll have the chance to have your words workshopped in sessions facilitated by skilled alumni who'll also share their insights and strategies for navigating the creative process from start to finish.

Join us!

alea adigweme ’06
Alumni College 2018 Program Director 

Details

Structure:

Alumni College will be divided into two workshops, so each participant will have the benefit of meaningful cross-genre feedback.

  1. Form + Genre (choose 1): fiction, poetry, essays, memoir, reportage, graphic novels and other illustrated tales
  2. Medium + Message (choose 1): the poetics of the personal, writing the natural world, writing the relational, food writing

Featured workshop leaders and panelists:

  • alea adigweme ‘06, program chair — essayist
  • Lucy Bellwood ‘12 — graphic novelist
  • John Daniel ‘70 — essayist and nature writer
  • Elyse Fenton ‘03 — poet and teacher
  • Lise Funderburg ‘82 — nonfiction writer
  • Debra Ginsberg ‘85 — memoirist, fiction writer
  • Linera Lucas ‘71 — poet and fiction writer
  • Steven Raichlen ‘75 — James Beard award-winning cookbook author
  • Gary Rogowski ‘72 — essayist

Workshop requirements (submissions due May 1):

  • Prose: One piece of 8001,200 words
  • Poetry: up to four poems, no more than five pages

Cost and registration:

  • Alumni College full registration: $425
  • Alumni College lecture-only registration: $200

For alumni who find these fees prohibitive, there are a small number of sliding-scale spots available. Priority for those sliding-scale spots will be given to alumni who have graduated in the last 15 years, but they are open to all alumni. To apply, please email alumni@reed.edu with your name, class year, workshop preferences, and a brief note explaining your circumstances.

Questions or comments:

Please direct questions and feedback about Alumni College to alumni@reed.edu. For Reedies interested in getting involved as a workshop leader or panelist — especially younger alumni, alumni from minoritarian groups, alumni working in “new media,” and alumni with nontraditional career trajectories — we invite you to contact us as well!  

Schedule - Full Program with Workshops

Tuesday, June 5

  • 12 p.m. Alumni College check in begins
    Prexy

  • 6–6:45 p.m. Alumni College Opening Reception
    Parker House Living Room

  • 6:45–7:45 p.m. Opening talk: Debra Ginsberg ’85
    Parker House Sappho

Wednesday, June 6

  • 8–9 a.m. Breakfast and welcome
    Performing Arts Building (PAB), 3rd Floor Atrium

  • 9–9:50 a.m. Practical Pointers
    Writing for a Living: The Dream vs. The Reality.
    Elyse Fenton ’03, Lise Funderburg ’82, and Chris Lydgate ’90
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320

  • 10–11:45 a.m. Workshop I: Form + Genre, Session A
    Performing Arts Building
    • Essays: Gary Rogowski ’72—PAB 104/105
    • Fiction: John Daniel '70—PAB 131
    • Memoir: Debra Ginsberg '85—PAB 332
    • Poetry: Linera Lucas ’71—PAB 130
    • Reportage: Chris Lydgate ’90—PAB 2nd Floor Atrium

  • 12–12:45 p.m. Roundtable discussions by genre and lunch
    Gray Campus Center, Rooms B, C, and D

  • 12:45–2 p.m. Writing time

  • 2–5 p.m. Workshop I: Form + Genre, Session B
    Performing Arts Building
    • Essays: Gary Rogowski ’72—PAB 104/105
    • Fiction: John Daniel '70—PAB 131
    • Memoir: Debra Ginsberg '85—PAB 332
    • Poetry: Linera Lucas ’71—PAB 130
    • Reportage: Chris Lydgate ’90—PAB 2nd Floor Atrium

  • 6–7 p.m. Dinner
    Gray Lounge

  • 7–8:30 p.m. Reading/Open Mic, featuring John Daniel ’70
    Gray Lounge

Thursday, June 7

  • 8–9 a.m. Breakfast
    Performing Arts Building, 3rd Floor Atrium

  • 9–9:50 a.m. Practical Pointers
    The Business of Writing: From Crowdfunding to Working with the
    Big Five (and Everything in Between!)
    Lucy Bellwood ’12 and Steven Raichlen ’75
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320

  • 10–11:30 a.m. Workshop II: Medium + Message, Session A
    Performing Arts Building
    • Writing about food: Steven Raichlen ’75—PAB 130
    • Writing the natural world: John Daniel ’70—PAB 332
    • Writing the poetics of the personal: Elyse Fenton ’03 & Linera Lucas ’71—PAB 131
    • Writing the relational: Lise Funderburg ’82—PAB 104/105
  • 11:40 a.m. Transportation to Reed's Ski Cabin on Mt. Hood
    Loading into vans in the West Parking Lot

  • 1:10–2:10 p.m. Practical pointers and lunch
    Lunch with a Literary Agent.
    Rita Rosenkranz ’77
    Reed's Ski Cabin

  • 2:30–3:30 p.m. Workshop II: Medium + Message, Session B
    Reed's Ski Cabin
    • Writing about food: Steven Raichlen ’75
    • Writing the natural world: John Daniel ’70
    • Writing the poetics of the personal: Linera Lucas ’71
    • Writing the relational: Lise Funderburg ’82
  • 3:30–5 p.m. Creative time
    Reed's Ski Cabin

  • 5–6 p.m. Dinner on Mt. Hood
    Reed's Ski Cabin

  • 6–7:30 p.m. Tentative return to campus
    Unloading in the West Parking Lot

Friday, June 8

  • 8–9 a.m. Breakfast
    Performing Arts Building, 3rd Floor Atrium

  • 9–9:50 a.m. Practical Pointers
    Editors Are a Writer’s Best Friend: How to Find a Proofreading, Prose-Polishing Gem Who “Gets” Your Work.
    Angie Jabine ‘79
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320

  • 10 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Workshop II: Medium + Message, Session C
    • Writing about food: Steven Raichlen ’75—PAB 130
    • Writing the natural world: John Daniel ’70 —PAB 332
    • Writing the poetics of the personal: Linera Lucas ’71—PAB 131
    • Writing the relational: Lise Funderburg ’82—PAB 104/105
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m. Concluding Lunch with Samiya Bashir, Reed College Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
    Gray Campus Center, Rooms B, C, and D

Schedule - Non-Workshop Program

Tuesday, June 5

  • 12 p.m. Alumni College check in begins
    Prexy
  • 6–6:45 p.m. Alumni College Opening Reception
    Parker House
  • 6:45–7:45 p.m. Opening talk: Debra Ginsberg ’85
    Parker House

Wednesday, June 6

  • 9–9:50 a.m. Practical Pointers
    Writing for a Living: The Dream vs. The Reality.
    Elyse Fenton ’03, Lise Funderburg ’82, and Chris Lydgate ’90
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. Practical Pointers
    The Art of Restaurant Reviews.
    Roger Porter, Reed College Professor of English and Humanities, Emeritus (and long-time restaurant reviewer!)
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320
  • 7–8:30 p.m. Reading/Open Mic, featuring John Daniel ’70
    Gray Lounge

Thursday, June 7

  • 9–9:50 a.m. Practical Pointers
    The Business of Writing: From Crowdfunding to Working with the Big Five (and Everything in Between!)
    Lucy Bellwood ’12 and Steven Raichlen ’75
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320
  • 1:30–3 p.m. Practical Pointers
    Pitching to Editors + Generative Pitch Workshop.
    Claire Foster ‘06
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320
  • 3–3:30 p.m. Break
  • 3:30–5 p.m. Practical Pointers
    The Power of Niche —how one Reedie turned a creative passion into a niche career and see how you can too!
    Lucy Bellwood ‘12
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320

Friday, June 8

  • 9–9:50 a.m. Practical Pointers
    Editors Are a Writer’s Best Friend: How to Find a Proofreading, Prose-Polishing Gem Who “Gets” Your Work.
    Angie Jabine ‘79 and Roger Porter, Reed College Professor of English and Humanities, Emeritus
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320
  • 10:30–11:30 a.m. Practical Pointers
    Egg the Editor.
    Chris Lydgate ‘90, Reed College Director of Editorial Service
    Performing Arts Building, Room 320
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m. Concluding Lunch with Samiya Bashir, Reed College Assistant
    Professor of Creative Writing
    Gray Campus Center, Rooms B, C, and D

Alumni College Faculty Snapshots