Creative Writing Blog

Gabe Fried Reading

On September 4th, Gabe Fried, the author or two poetry collections, Making the New Lamb Take and The Children Are Reading, visited WVU and read at the downtown library. Fried is an Assistant Professor in the creative writing program at University of Missouri, Columbia, and before his reading he was nice enough to give a Q&A to current MFA candidates about what PhD creative writing programs might offer them. At dinner with faculty and students, Fried mentioned that before his arrival he read online that the Hotel Morgan, where he was staying while in town, was haunted. Another student mentioned that they didn’t even realize Hotel Morgan was an operating hotel. And as it turns out, on the day of Fried’s reading there was a funeral in the hotel lobby. Later, and in keeping, it seems, with the theme introduced by the hotel, Fried read and spoke about the creepiness of children’s stories, Beatrix Potter books, baskets woven from cat tails, branches wrapping children like owl’s wings, and how his editorial work at Persea Books has been the most thrilling part of his writing career thus far. It was truly a pleasure to have Gabe Fried visit WVU! We thank him for sharing his words!

MFA Meet-and-Greet 2017

The beginning of the fall semester in the MFA program here at WVU brings with it a series of traditions. There are ice-breakers, first-day nerves, long lines and paper jams in the copy room. There’s the awe that that room, with a dark wooden table and books stacked into the wall and a huge window overlooking campus, is where we workshop. And there is the MFA meet-and-greet at program director Mary Ann Samyn’s home. Held after the first week of classes every August, the meet-and-greet brings together first-year students, current MFAs, and creative writing faculty. It is one of the first chances for the program to come together—poets, novelists, and essayists; students and their future mentors.

WVU Alum, Brandon Davis Jennings, Publishes Essay Collection

The WVU Department of English would like to congratulate Brandon Davis Jennings on the recent publication of his new collection of essays, The Red Book or Operation Iraqi Freedom is My Fault. This project took seven years to complete and the essays have appeared in Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review, Passages North, The literary Review, TriQuarterly, and NINTH LETTER.  Jennings has a BA in Journalism from West Virginia University, an MFA in Creative Writing (fiction) from Bowling Green State, and a PhD in English from Western Michigan University.