Darcey Steinke made it into town safe and sound today. OWU and BGSU shared her this year (Thank God for small favors and friendly programs).
We had a very small Q/A session today, which was extremely disappointing to me. We hire these writers to come to our school for the sake of our MFA students and hardly any of them attended the festivities. For the first half hour of the Q/A there were only four people, including myself, there. And Lawrence made five for the second half. I ended up having to ask almost ALL of the questions, and keep the conversation going -- which was really difficult to do considering I'm a poet and don't really know a lot about the craft of fiction. It's a shame too, the majority of the people at the Q/A, dinner, and reading were poetry MFAs and this was a fiction writer. In fact, Nick and myself were the only MFAs at dinner. And at the reading, there were more poets, but still... barely anyone (4 poetry MFAs including myself and Nick) and maybe three fiction writers. Darcey got on an airplane EARLY in the morning in New York to come here to read to us... and hardly anyone came.
I am ashamed of the fiction writers and honestly ... ashamed of the program as a whole today. We pay to get these writers here for the students... we could save a lot of money in visiting writers if the students aren't interested in supporting their contemporaries for at least a single hour three times a semester.
It's really ashame since the MFAs expect the same type of support at their own readings.
I shouldn't have let it bother me so much... but it's a little frustrating because I've seen it happen so frequently this year with the visiting writers. This was the worst though.
Darcey seemed to enjoy herself. She ended up being pleasant, quite humorous, and very interesting. Her reading was truly pleasurable. I purchased Suicide Blondes and can't wait to find the time to read it.
Forgive me for ranting a little about the program stuff, but being responsible for so much of the reading series this year has really got me noticing how little everyone (including certain faculty) cares about the writers that come to visit. I probably wouldn't notice as much if I weren't so close to the action. It's especially frustrating for me, I guess, because I put so much energy into this reading series... so it's a little tiresome to do and do and not see any sort of fruition... if that makes any sense. My name and face is what these writers know and associate with their experience here... so it sucks when they have a crappy time.
Anyway... I have to go grade poetry...