The Great Smokies Writing Program, in which I've taught for almost four years now, is celebrating its tenth year of offering classes through the UNCA (University of North Carolina /Asheville) extension program. It's also celebrating the second year of its online literary magazine: The Great Smokies Review.
Yesterday, at Malaprop's Books in downtown Asheville, Tommy Hays, the director of the program, kicked off the celebration by reminding us of the many and diverse students who have been part of the writing program.
Then we heard reading from some of these students whose work had been selected for inclusion in The Great Smokies Review. Two of the students who read had taken my classes and I felt like a proud mama as they stood up and read their pieces. (You can read them too -- just click on the hot links!)
Joy Boothe, who was a member of my most recent class, read her essay "Jesse"-a powerful piece with a voice as authentic as the southern Alabama from which it springs.
And Linda McCracken read an excerpt titled "Elephantizer Grows 'Em Big" from her haunting Young Adult novel String Weavers which she worked on in one of my classes.
I saw more of my students at this gathering and was so happy to learn that they were still working away at their writing. Though I'm not always confident that I know enough to teach anyone anything, I certainly enjoy trying! It's a rewarding facet of the writing life!
And tomorrow I get to experience yet another -- also fun and rewarding. I'm off to speak to/with a book club in Morganton about Signs in the Blood -- and the writing life. I'm looking forward to it -- they meet at a restaurant on a lake. I'll take my camera and post about it on Wednesday.
And then I'll get into the garden!
LV - January 2012
6 years ago