Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Remembering Carrie Allen McCray Nickens -- posted in the SC Writers' Workshop blog

Thank you to the South Carolina Writers' Workshop for asking me to be a judge for their Carrie McCray Poetry Award this year and for posting a piece I wrote about Carrie, remembering a special visit with her. Carrie Allen McCray Nickens, we still miss you!

Remembering Carrie McCray


PSSC Writers' Group workshop, Sat., Feb. 27: "Digging Deeper--Revision"

If you're a poet and will be in the Charleston, SC, area on February 27, please join us for the Poetry Society of SC (PSSC) Writers' Group workshop. Be sure to bring the draft of a poem you're working on and would like to deepen as you revise. 

Here are the details:

Saturday, February 27
"Digging Deeper: Revision"
PSSC Writers' Group Workshop
(bring a poem in progress)
Susan Laughter Meyers, instructor
10 a.m. - noon
Charleston Library Society
164 King St., Charleston, SC
Free for PSSC/CLS members
& CofC students; $15 for others
(PSSC membership, $25
annually; new memberships welcome)

Digging Deeper
A workshop on revising a poem by exploring its possibilities to the fullest. The goal is to reopen the poem, to peel away its limitations and move beyond whatever is obvious, to stutter over and over at crucial points in the poem—drilling down, homing in from numerous angles, flying blind to work toward the poem’s deepest mystery. 

It will help me to plan if you can let me know that you're coming. Please leave me a quick comment at one of these places:

Deckle Edge Literary Festival, Feb. 18-21, Columbia, SC

I'm honored to be a participant in the first Deckle Edge Literary Festival, the newly envisioned annual festival that came into being after the SC Book Festival announced last year that it would no longer be held. Bravo for the new tea--headed by Annie Boiter-Jolley and Darien Cavanaugh--who jumped in to serve the state's readers, book buyers, writers--the whole literary community!

Feb. 18-21
Deckle Edge Literary Festival
Columbia, SC
I'm participating on Feb. 20
"Found Anew" panel, 3:30 p.m.

Read all about the 2016 Deckle Edge Literary Festival. Come join in the celebration of books and literature!

Furman University visit -- Nov. 3 and 4, 2015

A huge thank you to professor and poet Bill Aarnes for inviting me to Furman University last fall to give a reading and visit with his poetry class for a discussion. The reading was held on the evening of November 3 in McEachern Lecture Hall. Besides students (whose presence is always a joy), I was delighted to see in the audience several good friends, who were so kind to come out for the reading: Nancy Dew Taylor & Maggie, Claire Bateman, Terri McCord & Brian Slusher, Gil & Barbara Allen--my gratitude to you all. 

The class visit the next afternoon was another joy. The students were eager to participate and had astute questions to ask me about my collection My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, which they had read for the course. It was a class of about ten or eleven students, the perfect size for having a lively poetry discussion--and for learning from one another. Bill Aarnes has done an excellent job of bringing the class together into a close-knit group, which made my visit all the more enjoyable. Thank you again, Bill and student poets!

Looking back on the Queens Univ. MFA alumni weekend, Oct. 8 - 11, 2015

What a treat to return to Queens University of Charlotte campus for an alumni weekend this fall. I was pleased to be in a manuscript workshop masterfully taught by Jon Pineda, who teaches in the Queens MFA program. In the workshop with me were three other poets, with whom I enjoyed exchanging book manuscripts and feedback: Torie Dailey, Geoffrey Hall, and Lee Stockdale. We were a close-knit fivesome, learning much from Jon and his good advice for our manuscripts.

I also enjoyed being on a publishing panel with two other alumni, as well as running the open mic after dinner on Friday night. Here was the weekend's schedule:

Thur., Oct. 8  Evening alumni reading: Clifford Garstang, Rebecca Gummere

Fri., Oct.    9  Publishing Panel: Clifford Garstang, Rebecca Gummere, 
                     Susan Laughter Meyers  
                     Craft Seminars  
                     Reception & dinner, open mic 

Sat., Oct. 10  Seminar
                     Workshops, 2 sessions
                     Book publishing seminar

Sun., Oct 11  Individual conferences

A look back at the fall PSSC Writers' Group workshop, Oct. 24, 2015

What a smart group of poets were a part of the fall PSSC Writers' Group workshop! We meet 3-4 times a year to study craft issues and work on our own poems.

Saturday, Oct. 24
"The Path of Surprise"
PSSC Writers' Group Workshop
Susan Laughter Meyers, instructor
10 a.m. - noon
Charleston Library Society
164 King St., Charleston, SC
Free for PSSC/CLS members & CofC students; $15 for others
(PSSC membership, $25 annually; new memberships welcome)


The Path of Surprise

Writing poems should be more than telling anecdotes from a life you already know or describing something you’ve seen. It should take you down a path of surprise. “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader,” Robert Frost wisely noted. In this workshop we’ll use writing activities and handouts of published poems, as well as discussion, to take us farther down that serendipitous path. We’ll study poems that leap, swerve, and follow their particular logic—then we’ll write our own.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Looking back--fondly!--on the 2015 Carolina Mountains Literary Festival (CMLF)

What a wonderful weekend the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival was back in September--the 11th and 12th--in charming Burnsville, NC. The groups in my two discussion sessions, as well as the poets in my poetry workshop, were bright and eager to participate. Each person there made the time with the groups that much more special. And what talent in the poetry workshop!

I'm grateful for being one of the presenters for this beautiful festival. The highlight was Saturday night's on-stage conversation between Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver. So entertaining, memorable, and wise! If you have a chance to go next fall, don't miss it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last July's launch for Fall Lines, the summer issue of Jasper Magazine

I'm still remembering the lovely evening of poetry and prose back in July that celebrated the launch of Fall Lines for 2015. A room full of poets and friends of poetry gathered at Tapps Art Center in Columbia to see the unveiling of Jasper's summer issue and to hear some poetry and fiction from it. Congratulations again to Worthy Evans, winner of the Saluda Prize for Poetry, and Liesel Hamilton, winner of the Broad River Prize for Prose. I was honored to be included in the issue with them and many other talented poets and writers. Here are the details:

On July 13th, Jasper Magazine, with the support of Richland Library, One Columbia, USC Press, and Muddy Ford Press, released the second volume in Columbia, SC’s own literary journal, Fall Lines – a literary convergence.  Edited by Jasper’s Cindi Boiter, Ed Madden, and Kyle Petersen, and adjudicated by Madden and Julia Elliott, Fall Lines welcomed thirty-three authors to its pages, contributing poetry, essays, short fiction, and flash or micro-fiction including Jennifer Bartell, Libby Bernardin, Rob Bockman, Susan Boyer, Nancy Brock, Fran Cardwell, Tim Conroy, Karla Cordero, Delia Corrigan, Carla Damron,  Debra Daniel, Worthy Evans (winner of the 2015 Saluda River Prize for Poetry, sponsored by Friends of Richland Library), Scott Gould, Barbara G. S. Hagerty (winner of the 2015 Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship, sponsored by the SC Academy of Authors), Liesel Hamilton (winner of the 2015 Broad River Prize for Prose, sponsored by the Friends of Richland Library), Kristine Hartvigsen, Lisa Hase-Jackson, Ann Herlong-Bodman, Mick Johnson, Susanne Kamata, Len Lawson, Ray McManus, Susan laughter Meyers, Bo Petersen, Tom Poland, Rachel Richarson (winner of the 2015 Fellowship in Fiction Award sponsored by the SC Academy of Authors0, Eileen Scharenbroch, Chris Schumerth, Aries Selwood, Cassie Premo Steele, Tony Tallent, Ceille Baird Welch, and Mary Whyte.

    Thanks, Jasper!