Friday, August 18, 2006

Bread Loaf: Day 2 (Thursday)

I feel like we're slowly getting started. The first event of the day was a "craft" lecture by William Kittredge: "Getting Started, or Unexpected Consequences." It was a bit of oral memoir, really, but fascinating. He talked about growing up on a ranch in Oregon and how his desire to write emerged and was shaped. Interesting stuff and now I'm likely to get one of his books.

We then had time to prepare for workshop, although my workshop assignment was relatively light. I managed to get a little ahead of the game. Our workshops then met in the afternoon and it was a terrific first exposure to Kevin "Mac" McIlvoy. The group seemed quite sharp as well. It's mostly women--just 3 men plus Mac--which shouldn't have surprised me. I think I'll save my collection of MacNotes and post about the workshop experience all at once, when I get home.

After workshop we had readings by poet Richard Siken (fellow), who was terrific--darkly funny, and Antonya Nelson ("Hi, I'm Tony Nelson"--wasn't he the astronaut on I Dream of Genie?), who read half of a story-in-progress that was absolutely wonderful.

After a reception on the lawn and then dinner, we had more readings, by non-fiction writer David Shields and by poet Sally Keith (whom I know because she's on the faculty at Queens). Both readings were enjoyable, but afterward I had to call it a night. Stay tuned!

6 comments:

Jim said...

Reading your blog daily, Cliff, and wishing I were there.

Stephanie said...

I'm reading McIlvoy's The Fifth Station now and boy is it stupendous. I bet he's a great workshop leader. He seems to have a lot of compassion.

Clifford Garstang said...

Ooh, Stephanie, thanks for the recommendation. That's one I don't have so I'll run over to the bookstore now and get it!

Karen McBryde said...

did Toni read from the story written from the perspective of the mother of a teenage boy, a conversation she has with the single father of a teenage girl? She read from that at Tin House in July, and she also read from it year before last in Taos...interesting (and affirming) to know she spends that length of time tinkering with a story...maybe a few of the ten or so i consider unfinished will someday be completed...just back from Alaska, enjoying catching up on your Sewanee experiences and now Breadloaf...Karen

Clifford Garstang said...

Karen,
That's exactly the story she read! It certainly is gratifying to know she works on a piece that long--except that her unfinished story is so much better than my unfinished stories . . .

Anonymous said...

Hi, Cliff: Love your blog. I've just finished the Squaw Valley Workshop. A great experience! Met a guy called Mark from Brooklyn. He said he's your friend. I told other guys about your blog.

Yunshi