I apologize for neglecting to blog in September and this isn’t much for October… needless to say it’s been a very busy semester. I’ve been writing up a revised and researched version of the “nonce genre” idea, and my colleague, John Boyd, and I have been busy writing up our talk/workshop for this week’s IWCA (not to mention the daily work of running our Writing Center).
If you are a writing center person and are attending IWCA this week, we encourage you to attend our workshop. We’ll be offering a rationale for our revised seminar and asking for participants to consider how we should, or might, shift the focus of our tutor training to accommodate recent longitudinal studies in writing studies scholarship. We believe that writing centers must take their place as active participants in learning instruction, and see this as a way to do so. Here is our abstract and presentation details. We hope to see you there!
John Boyd (Washington College), Moriah Purdy (Washington College)
Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:30-2:45
Session: 4C Room: 1360A
Recent longitudinal studies of undergraduate development offer a challenging and, in some ways, unsettling perspective for writing centers and writing programs. Investigations like those conducted at Harvard and the University of Washington suggest that the gains students make in writing during the college years are inseparably tied to disciplinary practice and rarely, if ever, depend on generalized strategies and transparent “skills.”
If this is true, then writing centers will need to rethink some of their assumptions about how peer tutoring contributes to student writing development and what kind of preparation will help tutors function successfully in a variety of contexts. In this interactive workshop, we report on how we restructured our peer tutoring seminar based on the five knowledge domains of writing expertise outlined in Anne Beaufort’s study, College Writing and Beyond. By rooting our seminar in both theoretical and practical knowledge related to process, subject matter, rhetorical context, genres, and discourse communities, we aimed to shift our tutors’ focus away from the problematic binaries often emphasized in writing center literature (such as directive/non-directive strategies and higher/lower-order concerns) and toward a framework for interacting with other writers that accounts for differing contexts and disciplinary practices.
In our workshop, we present what we found to be the benefits and challenges of our revised focus, and we ask participants to consider how they might account for Beaufort’s knowledge domains in their own tutor preparation efforts. Together, we will draw some conclusions about the value of knowledge about writing development and explore strategies for incorporating that knowledge into tutor instruction. Ultimately, we pose the following questions: What kind of course is a peer tutoring seminar? What kind of course should it be?
Three of my fine friends are reading for the Ruthless Grip Poetry Series in DC this Friday. If you’re in the area you should go.
Saturday, April 23, 8:00PM – 10:00PM
Meg Ronan, Alison Strub, & Aubrey Lenahan
@ G Fine Art 1350 Florida Avenue NE
Meg Ronan has an MFA from George Mason. She now adjuncts at George Washington & Marymount University. Her poems have appeared in Shampoo Poetry,Cricket Online Review, Interimv, LEVELER, and other lovely journals. She is currently an assistant editrice at 1913 & she will give you a tarot reading if you ask nicely.
Alison Strub is currently pursuing her M.F.A. at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and is the current Heritage Fellow. She is the Managing Editor of So to Speak: A Feminist Literary Journal. Her recent poems are forthcoming in The Denver Quarterly and RHINO.
Aubrey Lenahan is a 2010-11 Thesis Fellow at George Mason University, where she has taught literature and composition courses. Winner of the Mark Craver Poetry Award, she helps run the Washington, DC book festival, Fall for the Book, and translates contemporary Estonian poetry. Her work is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review and elsewhere. She is from New York City and claims the South.
I recently(ish) returned from AWP. Last year I had a whole big list of all the books I bought. This year I did not buy so many books, but there were many very cool things worth offering shameless plugs for, some moments worth remembering/noting, and and a few other things I am psyched about. Here’s a running list. NOTE: These appear in no particular order, and some of them are not exactly AWP-related.
* New issue of Phoebe is kicking some major butt with a sweet DC local scene section and rad woodcut cover art and inserts.
* Finally made friends with those fellow Chestertonian cats over at Idiot’s Books. Watch out world, that’s an AWP panel in the making.
* Joe Hall and Julie Carr represented 1913 in an awesome trade off reading inside of which Julie Carr made fun of Joe’s urban cowboy look. This was at Comet Ping Pong. It was a small press mash up with ACTION, OCTOPUS, LETTER MACHINE EDITIONS .
* My hotel-mates Joe Hall and Robb St. Lawrence are awesome. Just sayin’.
* I heart 1913 generally. It’s funny because I know the Dollers without knowing the Dollers — like, we’re facebook friends and Ben is now at Mason and we’ve been in circles of people talking together but I don’t know that they would remember my name and sometimes I think it’s a little late for that. The very cool thing is that they have taken a good selection of Mason people under their poetically kick ass wings (even if just to help work the 1913 collection at TABLE X). That is pretty awesome. You should donate to them to keep them alive.
* The GMU faculty reading, moderated by Eric Pankey who was on too many panels so they wouldn’t let him read, but that didn’t stop him from speaking fondly of his colleagues and the crowd in front of him. Sally Keith, Jennifer Atkinson (who said Eric was her favorite poet and also got super sweet mushy great), Ben Doller, and Susan Tichy read beautifully. I couldn’t have imagined landing a better faculty than I did while I was at Mason… I am so grateful.
* Eating bad/good Mexican food with Keith Montesano was fun. He also spoke the next day at a pretty excellent panel on electronic media and poetry — getting the word out about First Book Interviews (in the tradition of Kate Greenstreet) — alongside Brian Brodeur (fellow Mason alum) who spoke about his How A Poem Happens blog. Makes me want to have a blog beyond this blog.
* The party via Brian Fitzpatrick and Dan Guttstein was fantastic (woot, Mason and DC poetry crews), got there at midnight, stayed until early/late.
* The Ashahta reading at Big Bear (man, I miss Big Bear and Cheryl’s Gone) was (as always) incredible with readings from Brian Teare, Susan Tichy, Dan Beachy-Quick, Julie Carr, Rusty Morrison, and super nervous but good stuff James Meetze who read from Dayglo.
* The research and poetry panel with rockstars Susan Howe, Thalia Field, C.S. Giscombe, Jonathan Skinner, moderated by Cole Swensen, pretty much rocked my world. Except when I learned that Skinner is working on an Olmsted project, when my heart sank a little (perhaps there is still time for me to scoop Skinner with my own Olmsted project).
* I almost literally ran into Mark Nowak, Lit House Director at Washington College, who (it turns out) had pneumonia at the time. He felt well enough to host an excellent talk from Jeff Biggers the next week on campus. Sadly I did not get to any of Mark’s talks or panels during AWP, but I’m sure they were fantastic.
* DC was… well, DC. Good to be back, in many ways.
Now please immediately go follow all of those links to amazing things.
More love than love,
The National Day on Writing celebration at Washington College is coming up next Wednesday. Sponsored by the Writing Center, the Student Government Association, and Student publications, we’ll offer a day of celebratory writing.
WHAT? NATIONAL DAY ON WRITING (NDOW) (visit the NCTE site for details on the national initiative)
WHEN? WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20TH
WHERE? MILLER LIBRARY TERRACE
WHAT TIME? 10AM TO 4PM, WITH A READING FROM 1-2PM
WILL THERE BE FOOD? Yes! We’ll have coffee and cookies to warm you up!
HOW CAN WE GET INVOLVED?
CONTRIBUTE WRITING TO OUR LIVE GALLERY
We will be working to build a LIVING gallery on the library terrace. There will be clotheslines and poster presentation boards purely for the purpose of exhibiting student, staff, and faculty writing and written work you admire. We would love to have an exhibit that is truly representative of the kinds of writing we are all engaged with in our every day lives, from letters to lab reports, from poems to academic essays, from ethnographic case studies to email exchanges!
If you would like to reserve a space to exhibit your students’ work, please contact us in advance. Otherwise you and/or your students can stop by and contribute writing throughout the day. * Please keep contributions to 1 page each *
GIVE A READING OF WRITING THAT MATTERS TO YOU
You and/or your students are welcome to participate in a reading (from 1-2pm). Readers should be encouraged to bring 1-2 pages (roughly 2-3 minutes worth of material) to share. This can be anything from something you or your students have written to a piece of writing that is valuable to you.
Have your students written something they are particularly proud of? Is there a singular work that was been inspirational to you as you entered your scholarly field? Share it all! Students, faculty, and staff are all welcomed to read.
Contact us in advance to get on the list or sign up on the day!
PARTICIPATE IN THE WRITING FAIR
Sponsored by the Writing Center and Student Publications (The Elm, Pegasus, Writer’s Union & The Colophon, and The Washington College Review), a variety of writing-related activities will be set up throughout the day.
Events include a yearbook photo caption contest, on-the-fly writing prompts, Washington College MAD LIBS, and writing POST-SECRET, and more! This is an opportunity for your students to have some fun with writing and also learn more about the student publications on campus.
There will also be contests and a raffle for gift certificate prizes!
DESIGN ANOTHER EVENT
You might also consider posting writing to the National Gallery of Writing.
Other participants are sending students to journal across campus, students are visiting local schools to give workshops, and I will even be tweeting/micro-blogging throughout the day (follow the writing center to see it unfold!)
If you decide on an activity of your own, let us know what you’re up to!
I love associating terms like “merry-making” to book festivals!
When I first moved to Chestertown I was impressed by the vibrant literary community fostered both by the college and the local community — it’s incredible to me that a town with only around 5,000 residents has a book festival to call its own. The 2nd annual Chestertown Book Festival is this upcoming weekend, Oct 8th and 9th, in and around town in your expected book-ish spots.
There we will have much “merry-making” and book loving and listening… not to mention the Kent County Library book sale (exciting!). Check out the official blog for featured items and the schedule for a full list of events.
C-Town locals, see you there.
I am thrilled and honored to be reading at this week’s Cheryl’s Gone series, curated by Joe Hall and Wade Fletcher. I have championed this series before on the blog, so you know I was a fan even before I was asked to read. I hope I do it justice.
I’ll be reading alongside Stephen Hunt (fiction) and Leslie Bumsted (poetry), who authors who exceed me in rank and who I am thrilled to be keeping company with on Thursday.
Here are the details:
June 17, 2010
Big Bear Cafe
Corner of 1st St and R, NW DC
refreshments available for a small donation
Let’s go out for drinks afterward!