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SHSU Students to Give Spring Reading

SHSU graduate students to share results of writing workshop labors.


For the past four months, graduate students in the Sam Houston State University MFA Program in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing have been gathering on Monday evenings at the Wynne Home to participate in Dr. Scott Kaukonen’s fiction writing workshop. On Monday, May 18, those writers will share with the public the fruit of their labors at the annual Wynne Home Readings. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

“The writer works in solitude, behind closed doors, sequestered away in corners, and every once in a while, we coax the writer out into the open to share the work,” said Kaukonen, director of the MFA program. “This is one of those opportunities. The City and Linda Pease have been very generous in allowing us to use that space over the years, and this is one way we can give back.”

Kaukonen first held his graduate fiction workshop at the Wynne Home in the spring of 2008, and this semester was the sixth time and fourth consecutive spring. “It’s just a terrific atmosphere in which to conduct this type of class,” Kaukonen said. “We sit around the old table in the formal dining room, and it feels less like a classroom and more like a salon, just a bunch of writers talking about their work and trying to figure out how to do it better.”

This year’s readers will include Cody Harrison, Mike Hilbig, Chenelle John, Julian Kindred, Kim Rayl, and Bridget Schabron.

“There’s a range of style and mood and genre in this particular group,” Kaukonen said. “The settings of the stories range geographically, from Houston to Wyoming to the Virgin Islands, and they range formally, from minimalist to maximalist and realist to fabulist.

“We spend the semester in critique mode,” Kaukonen added, “closely reading the stories and offering up criticisms, both positive and, well, maybe not always so positive. It’s a necessary part of the process, coming to understand how fiction works and how it might work. But this shifts the mode, and we’re able here to sit back as readers (or listeners) and enjoy the work and what has been accomplished.”

It’s been a significant semester for the MFA program, which graduated its first student, Kim Davis of Madisonville, last weekend.

“Kim took part in this workshop and these readings in previous years, and we’re delighted to send her now into the world to publish and do good things,” Kaukonen said.

For more information, contact Kaukonen (936-294-1407 or kaukonen@shsu.edu) or Linda Pease, Wynne Home Coordinator (+936-291-5422 or lpease@huntsvilletx.gov).

Information provided by City of Huntsville

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