I'm a little late posting this because there's a problem with the internet connection in the dorm, so I had to wait until I could run over to the library to this. Just as well, I suppose. Meanwhile, I'm also blogging about the conference on the official website, which you can read about here: Sewanee Writers' Conference Blog.
Thursday seemed to start off casually, since the first event wasn't until 10:00am--a panel discussion with Speer Morgan, editor of the Missouri Review, George Core, editor of the Sewanee Review, and Rob Griffith and Paul Bone, editors of Measure. It was a good opportunity to get a sense of each of the magazines, especially for conference attendees who might not have heard these editors talk before. After that we had Mark Strand's craft lecture, in which he talked about every writer's struggle with doubt. It's somehow reassuring to hear a writer of Strand's standing speak so frankly about this subject.
In the afternoon, my workshop began. I'll have more to say about this as the conference goes on, but we had a good discussion about the work of three of the participants. Our group is led by Padgett Powell and Christine Schutt.
After that we had a beautiful reading by Claudia Emerson who, as she did here the last time I was at Sewanee, concluded her reading with a song, accompanied by her husband, Kent. And, finally, after dinner we had a reading from Diane Johnson.
But not finally, as it turned out, because then I went to the open mic reading at Humphreys Dorm, where about 20 conference participants got to give very short readings -- just 3 minutes each. Good stuff--some of it very funny. And there was beer involved.