It’s a bit like boot camp (without the yelling and obstacle courses) for serious writers.
June 15-22, 2013
Intensely creative, pushing you beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving—you eat, sleep, drink, breathe writing. And all around you are your fellow writers and instructors, cheering you on, encouraging you, word by word.
Workshops are held for three hours each morning, focusing on writing exercises, reading and critiquing work, and talking about writing technique. The afternoons allow private time for reading and writing. Evenings are spent with public readings from instructors, visiting writers, and workshop participants.
Whether you’ve been writing for years, recently graduated from an MFA program, or have just now decided to take the leap out of your private notebooks and into a classroom, you’ll find a workshop here to help you accomplish your literary goals.
The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop focuses on the generation and revision of new work. Instructors employ challenging exercises and lead the groups in close readings and discussions of participants’ work. In addition, the instructors schedule personal meetings to discuss workshop assignments and other projects.
The Poetry Workshop will challenge you to write a poem a day! In class, we will explore the fine art of reading poetry as well as writing it. We will think together about poetry’s forms, shapes, and methods; and we will experiment with a wide variety of subject matter and materials.
The Literary Nonfiction Workshop will also focus on the generation and revision of new work. Literary Nonfiction—whether memoir, reportage, nature or travel writing—organizes the elements of the world into coherent prose. The writer’s challenge is often finding the right form in which to tell the story.
In the Fiction Workshop you will write a piece of fiction every day, based on prompts to spark your imagination. Along the way we will be asking the question, What is a story? The week should provide us with some answers, or at least clues. The supportive and energetic atmosphere will send you home with a lot of surprising new work.
The Literary Hybrid/Book Arts Workshop blends techniques of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts to generate creative writings through the art of the book. Using a range of exercises and materials, we will create new work through textual and visual explorations during our week together. Whether you are a writer curious to write in more genres, or an artist wishing to deepen your engagement with text, this workshop promises to open up a variety of creative practices to generate new content and form.
Among David Baker’s fourteen books are his most recent poetry collection, Never-Ending Birds (2009, W. W. Norton), winner of the 2011 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, and Talk Poetry: Poems and Interviews with Nine American Poets (2012, Arkansas). This latest title is cosponsored by The Kenyon Review and gathers Baker’s KROnline interviews with a number of important poets. For his work, Baker has been awarded fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, Ohio Arts Council, Society of Midland Authors, and others. He currently serves as Professor of English at Denison University where he holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing. He is the poetry editor of The Kenyon Review.
Carl Phillips is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Double Shadow (FSG 2011), recently named a National Book Award Finalist, Speak Low (FSG 2009) and Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006, as well as a book of prose, Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Art and Life of Poetry, and a translation of Sophocles’s Philoctetes. His honors include the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, the Pushcart Prize, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress. His poems have been chosen eight times for the annual Best American Poetry series. Phillips is Professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches in the Creative Writing Program.
Rebecca McClanahan’s tenth book, The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change, a multigenerational memoir, is forthcoming from Indiana University Press in 2013. (Read an interview about the book and an excerpt published in KR here.) She has also published five books of poetry and a suite of essays, The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow Prize in Nonfiction. Her three books of writing instruction include Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively, which is used as a text in numerous writing programs. Her work has also appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, in anthologies published by Norton, Doubleday, Putnam, and Beacon, and in numerous journals. Past recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry, the Carter Prize from Shenandoah, a Pushcart Prize in fiction, and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and North Carolina Arts Council, McClanahan teaches in the low-residency MFA programs of Queens University and Rainier Writers Workshop.
Dinty W. Moore’s memoir Between Panic & Desire (University of Nebraska) was winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes, and the writing guide, The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction. Moore has published essays and stories in Southern Review, Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore has won many awards for his writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.
Lee K. Abbott is the author of Love is the Crooked Thing, Living After Midnight, Wet Places at Noon, and, most recently, All Things, All at Once: New & Selected Stories. His fiction and articles have appeared in Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Book Review, and Southern Review, among others. For many years he taught at The Ohio State University, where he was a Humanities Distinguished Professor of English. His work has been included in Best American Short Stories and The O’Henry Awards.
Geeta Kothari is the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review. Born and raised in New York City, she now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a two-time recipient of the fellowship in literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the editor of ‘Did My Mama Like to Dance?’ and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including The Kenyon Review, the Massachusetts Review, Fourth Genre, and Best American Essays. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh.
After nine years as the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review, Nancy Zafris became the editor of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction book series. Her new book is The Home Jar, a collection of short stories. Others include The People I Know, which won the Flannery O’Connor award, The Metal Shredders, which was a New York Times notable book of the year, and Lucky Strike. She has won several artist’s grants, including two NEA fellowships. As a Fulbright Fellow, she taught at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. She has also taught at University of Pittsburgh, Centre College, Antioch LA, The Ohio State University, and University of West Virginia.
Literary Hybrid/Book Arts
Gretchen E. Henderson is the author of two hybrid novels, The House Enters the Street and Galerie de Difformité, along with a collection of nonfiction, On Marvellous Things Heard, and a poetry chapbook, Wreckage: By Land & By Sea. Her cross-genre writings have appeared in various journals, including Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, and Denver Quarterly. A recipient of the Madeleine Plonsker Prize, Gretchen is a Mellon fellow at MIT and metaLAB fellow at Harvard. With a background in music and the arts, she loves collaborating with artists to explore different forms of writing.
Ellen Sheffield is a visual artist whose work integrates text, image and the book form. The recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships, she teaches Book Arts as a Visiting Instructor of Art at Kenyon College. Recent exhibitions include those at The College of Wooster Art Museum, Wooster, OH. (2012), The Word and Image Gallery, Bright Hill Literary Center, Treadwell, NY (2012), and the School of Fine Arts Gallery, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (2011). Her work is represented in the collections of the Bienecke Library at Yale University, the University of California Riverside, and Kenyon College Special Collections, among others.
A single dorm room is included in the base price of the workshop. There are also two apartment options for an additional fee: the Taft Cottages and the North Campus Apartments. All residences are air conditioned.
- The dormitory, McBride Residence Hall, offers single rooms with shared bathrooms on each hall.
- The Taft Cottages, on the south end of campus, are three stories high with each floor housing one apartment. Each apartment has three private bedrooms with locking doors, a shared bath, and shared living space with mini kitchen. (Add $150.00 to the base price of the workshop.)
- The North Campus Apartments, new townhouse apartments on the north end of campus, offer a shared common room and kitchen on the first floor and three single bedrooms with locking doors on the second and third floors. There are two shared bathrooms. (Add $300.00 to the base price of the workshop.)
If you need to be on a ground floor due to health issues, please let us know. We will make every effort to meet your needs. Several laundry facilities are available on campus.
If you prefer a hotel or bed and breakfast, please let us know. You will be responsible for booking your own housing and will receive a discount of $150 on your workshop fee. Here are some local housing options on campus:
- The Kenyon Inn,
100 W. Wiggin Street, Gambier, (740) 427-2202
- The Gambier House,
107 E. Wiggin Street, Gambier,
Mount Vernon, a ten-minute drive from campus, also has hotel and B & B options.
Since John Crowe Ransom first edited The Kenyon Review in 1939, Kenyon College has been a national center for the literary arts, attracting celebrated writers and encouraging the work of younger poets, essayists, fictions writers, and playwrights. Robert Lowell, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, E.L. Doctorow, and William Gass, among others, all studied or taught at Kenyon.
The campus of Kenyon College, with its striking Gothic architecture, shady lawns, and gravel pathways, reflects its status as the oldest private college in Ohio. Writers Workshop participants enjoy the historic charm of the Village of Gambier while living in campus housing with ample space to work and access to the latest computer technology. Kenyon recreational facilities will also be open to participants. Within the village, you’ll find a bookstore, small grocery store, hair salon, women’s clothing retailer, post office, and several restaurants. Please note that living on the Kenyon campus entails a good deal of walking. If walking or using the stairs poses problems, please call the program office.
Kenyon College is located in Knox County, a rural county of rolling farmland, deciduous forests, and small cities in central Ohio. Some details:
Just four miles from campus, Mount Vernon offers plentiful shopping—antiques, crafts, local art, and more, a range of local attractions (including a children’s garden and historical museum), a variety of lodging and dining options, and an excellent public library.
Breakfast and dinner are provided, while lunch is on your own—offering an opportunity to continue writing discussions in small groups. There are several options for lunch in Gambier: each writer receives a gift coupon for a local eaterie which offers a selection of soups and sandwiches; Wiggin Street Coffee Shop offers soups, sandwiches, coffee, and tea; the Kenyon Inn and the Village Inn serve sit-down luncheons, while the Gambier deli and neighborhood grocery provide a wide variety of choices. Mount Vernon and the surrounding area offer more options.
Kenyon is nestled in the rolling hills of the Kokosing River Valley, which offers opportunities for hiking, canoeing, and exploring nature. The College supports the Brown Family Environmental Center, and students frequent the Kokosing Gap Trail, a beautiful, paved 14-mile trail built on a former Pennsylvania Railroad bed, which is considered one of the largest volunteer-maintained bicycling trails in the nation.
Tuition & Cancellation
The cost of The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop is $1,995, which includes tuition, a dorm room, and breakfast and dinner. There will be a $200 discount for returning participants. If you are accepted you will be asked to complete an enrollment form and return it within two weeks of your acceptance with a nonrefundable deposit of $500. The balance of your tuition is due on May 15, 2013.
If you cancel your enrollment before May 15, you will forfeit your $500 deposit. If you cancel after May 15, we keep the $500 deposit and a $500 cancellation fee, but return the remaining balance paid. There will be no refund of tuition after arrival date, June 15, and no refund in the event of early departure.