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Student Writers To Celebrate End Of Semester ‘Creatively’

May 1, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt, Scott Kaukonen

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The life of the writer is often filled with rejection—first drafts banished to the recycling bin; stories bruised and battered in classroom workshops; poems rejected with boilerplate notes from editors with contrary aesthetic sensibilities.

student writerIt requires on the part of the writer, young or old, well published or unpublished, a certain type fortitude and persistence, according to Scott Kaukonen, director for Sam Houston State University’s Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, editing and publishing program.

The program will celebrate that type of fortitude and persistence in a series of student readings this coming week.

On Monday (May 6) and Wednesday (May 8), beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Wynne Home Arts Center, students enrolled in Kaukonen’s graduate fiction workshop will present from their work, and on Tuesday (May 7), beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Evans Building Room 212, students whose work has been accepted for the 2012-13 edition of the Sam Houston State Review will be read from the forthcoming issue.

“We spend the vast part of the academic year critiquing each other’s work,” Kaukonen said. “Students bring their budding stories or poems or essays into class, and we—the faculty and the students—engage in honest conversation about the state of those works. And that’s a difficult process since in most cases the student leaves the classroom knowing that much more work needs to be done.

“But these readings provide us with the opportunity to both place that work in a different context and to celebrate work well done.”

For the students enrolled in Kaukonen’s graduate fiction workshop, which has met every Monday evening this semester at the Wynne Home, it’s also a way to mark the end of the MFA program’s first year.

“Most of the students, although not all, in that class are members of our initial class of entrants into the MFA program,” Kaukonen said. “It’s been terrific to watch the progress they’ve all made from those opening weeks until now. And we expect much more progress, and success, in the semesters to come.”

The students whose work was accepted for this year’s edition of the Sam Houston State Review, the literary journal for the SHSU community, include Meagan Bellinoski, Devon Bouffard, Brandi Cannon, Gabriel Craig, Carlos Hernandez, Juventino Manzano, Chad Meiners and Deseree Probasco, as well as alumna Karen Bone.

Students, alumni, faculty, and staff of SHSU are invited each year to submit their stories, poems, and essays to the Review, which is produced through the undergraduate “Practicum in Publishing” course, taught by Kaukonen and Nick Lantz, assistant professor of English.

“It’s a nice way to cap a busy year,” Kaukonen said, noting that the MFA Program has co-sponsored a series of readings featuring Tim O’Brien, Michael Kardos, Jesse Lee Kercheval, Jamaal May, and Ron Rozelle. “It’s particularly a pleasure to see our own students now step up on stage and be writers, not merely people who might one day like to write.”

All of the readings are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Kaukonen at 936.294.1407 or kaukonen@shsu.edu.



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