Jeanne Clark started the morning by having us read two poems: “What Work Is” by Philip Levine and “The Shipfitter’sWife” by Dorianne Laux. She then asked us to write something on the theme of work, using the wild word “balm.”

Jonny talked on text and subtext, and gave us a very simple script (speeches were mostly one or two words) of two people talking past each other, when read from the page. He challenged us to read in pairs, using intonation and gesture to provide meaning. It was threatening rain today, so we didn’t go outdoors.

Peggy pointed out that characters can misunderstand each other. She assigned us to write something about parents and children, and as examples gave us “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins and “Wrought,” a poster by Alison Bechdel. Our pieces could start from: strident arguments, revisiting a perception from your childhood, make an allusion, mix media, consider a long ago event and allow it to offer insight, set the scene of a discovery, the context of an inspiration, possibly a single word, like lanyard, an iconic photo, a year in your life, images. We had a choice between memory and reality. (I hope I read my handwritten notes correctly!)

Afternoon we had our second day of painting, plus our first day of individual conferences with our faculty. A few people have actually finished their sheets, but I’m not in that group.

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