Summer in the Low-Residency

Frequent readers of my blog have probably noticed that I haven’t posted much in a while. That’s because summer (May and June) have been very busy months. In addition to all the year-end duties of department chair (faculty evaluations, budgets, assessments, requesting summer pay, etc.), this year we have had two full residency classes and two short residency classes.

Fortunately, my colleague, Kris Lee, handled most everything for the two short residencies, which were focused on Acting for Writers. One was face-to-face, and the other was virtual, held on two different weeks. Students wrote short play scripts adapted from work in another genre, and then acted in each others’ plays. This year, all the scripts were interrelated, using an element from each other’s original pieces. The short residency students performed for their full residency counterparts, though some were in both classes.

Our first full residency was held May 28 – June 5 and was both on-campus face-to-face and virtual. Students met in workshop groups in the morning, we had seminars on professional topics in the afternoon, followed by mentoring and thesis defenses, and then readings each evening (except on Memorial Day). It’s a full schedule, and though i wasn’t leading a morning workshop, I had plenty to keep me busy as well as keeping up with some department chair duties.

Our second full resdiency followed the same schedule, but was only virtual and was held June 11-19. For this residency, I led one of the workshop groups and did most of the afternoon seminars. I was the Zoom host for all of our readings, and was on 8 thesis committees, so May and June were exceptionally busy months. July is time for a little relaxing and catching up on the things that didn’t get done in June. One of the things I’ve been catching up on is the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. More news on that will be posted soon on our website.

If you’d like to see our MFA Residency readings, they were live-streamed on Facebook and are now archived with our group’s media.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and have a great summer!

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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