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Good Things to Come: Highlights of the Spring 2024 Naslund-Mann Residency on Campus 


by Kathleen Driskell, Chair



The rhododendron and dogwoods are in bloom on Spalding’s campus signaling that spring has arrived at last, but our Naslund-Mann team and faculty have been thinking about spring since last November. We’ve planned lots of wonderful, enriching curriculum and arts sessions for our Spring 2024 residency in Louisville, May 25 – June 1. We look forward to having students, faculty, and alumni back on campus for seven days of workshops, lectures, readings, panels, homecoming celebrations, and more.


Poetry is Our Cross-Genre Area

As poetry is our cross-genre area for spring, I’ve asked each student to read our book in common, The Fears, by poet, editor, and critic Kevin Prufer, who visits residency as our Distinguished Visiting Writer. I announced Kevin’s visit earlier on this blog. You can review that blog post to learn more about him and his work.


We’ll dive right into our studies on Saturday, May 25, soon after all arrive, with the residency book-in-common discussion. Come to our kick-off session at the Brown Hotel ready to participate with your comments on the book. After that discussion, we’ll have dinner as a community at the Brown and then end our evening with a faculty reading.

Kevin Prufer will be here Wednesday, May 29, to give a community presentation on campus that evening. The next morning, Thursday, May 30, he joins us for a Q & A open only to the Naslund-Mann community.

Other cross-genre sessions include my lecture “What Puts the Literary in Literature? Poetry as a Figurative Lens,” a talk that provides takeaways to enhance style for all writers. At the end of that lecture, I’ll give our cross-genre exercise assignment, which asks each student to write a poem to be submitted and shared with each other at the end of residency.

I’ll also present the literary exploration lecture “1798: Poetry’s Punk Rock Moment,” during which I discuss the publication of Lyrical Ballads and a Few Other Poems by Wordsworth and Coleridge, which launched the Romantic Movement and continues to influence our writing. Pre-readings of selected poems can be found on the Preparing for Spring Residency page on the portal.

Also, we’re delighted to welcome back Jennine “DOC” Krueger,

who has been selected to give the Distinguished MFA Alumni Lecture in Poetry for this residency. DOC is a poetry alum and an assistant professor of English at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. She was recently recognized as a 2023 City of Austin and Mindpop Emerging Teaching Artist Fellow. She’s also a renowned poetry slam champion. Her distinguished alumni presentation, “Slam 101,” will be an educational look at evolution of slam into what Doc calls “a pop-culture phenomenon.”


Open to all: Virtual Pre-Residency Faculty Reading, Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m. Eastern

In addition to our usual readings by faculty and students, we’ll have a pre-residency virtual faculty reading at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, on Wednesday, May 22. Come hear faculty you know well and faculty who may be new to you: Lee Martin (fiction and creative nonfiction), Elaine Neil Orr (fiction and creative nonfiction), Ellen Hagan (writing for children and young adults), Maggie Smith (poetry), and Gabriel Jason Dean (playwriting and screenwriting).  Students, alumni, and faculty, please join us for what’s become a kick-off tradition for residency and a wonderful virtual gathering of our community. We’ll email a Zoom link for community access to this reading shortly before the event.


Once on campus, we’ll feature our regular faculty readings and also our Celebration of New Work by Faculty on Tuesday, May 28, at the Brown Hotel. The Celebration features readings by faculty with new publications: Greg Pape, Lesléa Newman, Robin Lippincott, Angela Jackson-Brown, and Lynnell Edwards.


Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville’s beloved premier independent bookseller and our official residency bookstore, will be on campus to sell books for special readings, including Homecoming’s Alumni Celebration of New Works featuring Nathan Gower, Kelly Hill, Nick Hulstine, Amy Le Ann Richardson, and Lori Tucker-Sullivan on Thursday, May 30. Naslund-Mann’s Homecoming for alumni continues on May 31.


Also, on Thursday, May 30, Carmichael’s creates a pop-up Naslund-Mann Book Fair during our long lunch hour. If you plan to buy faculty and alumni books, we hope you’ll support Carmichael’s by purchasing them while you’re on campus.


Nine Workshops Scheduled for Spring Residency

Our faculty workshop leaders for this residency are Robin Lippincott, Angela Jackson-Brown, and Kenny Cook, all in fiction; Greg Pape and Erin Keane, both poetry; Roy Hoffman, creative nonfiction; Lesléa Newman, writing for children and YA; Larry Brenner, writing for TV, screen, and stage; and Lynnell Edwards, teaching seminar.


In addition, faculty members Jason Howard and Lee Martin, creative nonfiction; Bruce Marshall Romans, writing for TV, screen, and stage; and Lamar Giles, writing for children and YA, will drop into residency to present lectures for our community.


Other guest lecturers for the residency include playwrights Michelle Tyrene Johnson (PW ’22) and Nancy Gall-Clayton; creative nonfiction writer and editor of River Teeth Jill Christman; Mark Neely, winner of the Idaho Prize in Poetry; and Frank X Walker, who visits to talk about his experience writing for children with the publication of his first picture book, A is for Affrilachia.


Our interrelatedness-of-the-arts event has us strolling (or grabbing an Uber or Lyft) down Fourth Street a few blocks to attend Kentucky Shakespeare’s performance of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park. Entering its 64th season, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park is the longest-running free, non-ticketed Shakespeare festival in the United States.

Before we attend the performance, our faculty member Kenny Cook, a sometime Shakespearean actor, prepares us to enjoy Romeo and Juliet with a lecture on one of Shakespeare’s most popular and often performed plays.


And, of course, we look forward to a vibrant group of lectures presented by our graduating MFA students, presented online or at the graduation lecture symposium on Sunday, May 26.


Required Virtual Events Before Spring Residency

At 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, April 21, students are required to attend my hourlong pre-lecture “Four and More Ways of Looking at a Poem.” Students don’t need to finish reading The Fears before attending, but this lecture includes a short pre-reading assignment, which can be found on the portal. Students unable to attend the lecture in real time may view a recording of the lecture, which will be posted a few days after the presentation. A lecture report is required, and a link to complete the report will be sent to your email account prior to the lecture.


Sunday, May 5, students are required to attend two virtual sessions in preparation for residency: from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern, you’ll meet with your workshop leader and student-colleagues for an introductory workshop session; at 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern, you’ll join the faculty book-in-common session for a discussion of a text in your residency workshop area. Students find their faculty book-or-script-in-common assignments on the Preparing for Spring Residency page in the portal.


Do keep checking the Preparing for the Spring Residency page on the portal for added information about lectures and events we’ll feature this May. And be sure to check the portal for lecture descriptions, pre-reading required or suggested, and other announcements. Your Residency Curriculum and Events Schedule will be released on Monday, May 20.


Happy preparation for Spring residency at Spalding! Our Naslund-Mann faculty and staff look forward to welcoming you back to campus soon.


Kathleen Driskell, Chair of Spalding University’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing and Professor of Creative Writing, is an award-winning poet and essayist. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, River Teeth, Appalachian Review, Rattle, Southern Review, Shenandoah, and other magazines. She is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Vine Temple (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and Next Door to the Dead, (University Press of Kentucky), winner of the Judy Gaines Young Book Award. Her collection Seed Across Snow (Red Hen Press) was named a Poetry Foundation Bestseller. Her collection of poetry Goat-Footed Gods is forthcoming in March 2025 from Carnegie-Mellon University Press. She served as Chair of the Board of Directors of AWP, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. from 2019 to 2022.


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