Thursday, July 24, 2008

Residency Reflections

Well, I'm back from my first residency at Goddard College's MFA program, a week on the peninsula in Port Townsend, WA. That's why I was on the flight mentioned in my previous post.

I was just about there:

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It was a great setting, and feels like a good decision. There's talk of Goddard being transformative, and I'm hopeful. I don't think I have a goal beyond that right now. I don't think I need one.

It was an intense week, sleeping little, attending workshops with a fervor I haven't in years, and spending time in the company of a diverse group of writers, poets, playwrites and other artists working in many styles, all at various stages of their creative experience.

That was perhaps the most fabulous part, meeting my new peeps, sharing bland meals and conversation that was anything but. I probably even gushed a little once I crept from my shell.

My biggest problem was scoring coffee for the pot in my room, an old non-commissioned officer's cabin at Fort Worden, the site where they filmed An Officer and a Gentleman. I think I traipsed across the territory where Lou Gossett put Richard Gere through his paces on the way to poetry readings and to tug one slim poem from my notebook to share. Maybe more next time. Maybe I'll write more poetry, an unexpected by-product.

The shop on the fort grounds didn't seem to have an adequate supply for their own needs, so they sold me take-out-soup containers full to get me by a few days at a time since I was waking up on central time, and I need a cup at my side for early a.m. writing.

It's a little daunting, the tasks at hand, the reading, the writing requirements, the commitment, but time spent to a purpose is more worthwhile than time spent and it is all about the journey, right?


Charles Gramlich said...

You know, I'm a little envious of you. I can sense your excitement and it sounds like it was a great experience. Shook you up a little out of your normal life. You'll have to share some of your poetry.

Erik Donald France said...

Yeah, the fervor and intensity is palpable. Great move!

Is this the East Coast Goddard with a West Coast program? Nifty!
Old military post, mix of people, all cool.


Steve Malley said...

Sounds pretty grand. Except for the coffee. Just in case of problems such as this, I always travel with a couple of kilos of pure Columbian. Coffee.

And to save luggage space, I tape them to my body... :-)

Avery DeBow said...

I'm excited just reading about it. My will to return to school is nearly as strong as my aversion to mandatory math classes.

Lana Gramlich said...

Sounds like it was a great time. I'm quite happy for your experience!

Sidney said...

It is the West Coast incarnation of Goddard from Vermont, Erik. Thanks for the thoughts guys.

Steve, you realize you've pre-selected yourself for a random search the next time you travel. :-)

Sphinx Ink said...

Kudos to you for pursuing this goal. You'll find being around so many other creative people very energizing and reinforcing. What a cool experience.

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