Tag Archive: Summer Arts Festival


Our first class was with Deryl, who discussed structure as five parts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. He illustrated with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. As an exercise, he had us reach write an exposition in one sentence, pass it to the person on their right who then had to write the rising action in one sentence, and so on until we had a number of sheets, each written by five people. The results will be read (cringe) tomorrow.

Jeanne Clark and Rob Davidson

Jeanne and Rob in our classroom. This was not flash, hence the blur.

Rob had us read things we wrote out over the weekend. For home play we are to write an opening paragraph.

Jeanne read us “5th Grade Autobiography” by Rita Dove. She then handed out two poems: “Catching Songs,” by Robert Childers and “Elegy Ending in a Dream,” by Patrick Phillips. She had us tell her as many things as we could about the second poem and got almost a board full of responses. This was a “call and response” poem, with the first line of each couplet starting with “I thought” and the second line showing (usually rather obscurely) some difference in feeling now. The second lines are in present tense, the first in past tense. Our home play assignment is to take something or someone you have been unable to write about and write 5 or 6 couplets about it, using the call-response format with the first line of each couplet starting with “I thought.”

Sheila Sanderson

Sheila Sanderson in class. Again blurred because I was using available light in an underground classroom.

We had a guest for the afternoon session: Sheila Sanderson, editor of Alligator Juniper and author of Keeping Even, a collection of her poems. She read us a number of her poems: “Never and Always,” “The Stopping Place,” “High Desert Arizona,” “Barefoot along the North Atlantic,” “Rift Valley,” “Conspiracy in White,” “Keeping Even” (the title poem) and “Only One Place to be: Hell or Kentucky.”

She then gave us “Ode to the Maggot,” by Yusef Komunyakaa, and as an exercise had us write either an ode to the unlovely, or to think of something for which you have a particular fondness and note details as to why you are fond of it, and then use those details to write a piece “In disgust of_____.”

After that she gave us two poems allegedly written on odd things: “Written on the Stub of the First Paycheck,” by William Stafford, and “Poem Written on the Back of Bad Directions to Your House,” by Jason Fitschen. A third poem, “This is Just to Say,” by William Carlos Williams, was an example of an apology for something you weren’t really sorry for. As a second class exercise she had us write either a poem supposedly written on some strange thing or an insincere apology.

Tomorrow afternoon will be our individual conferences with the instructors, and the afternoon after that will be class participants’ readings (6 to 8 minutes each.)

9:27 pm: Don Gray just e-mailed me and asked me to include this link: http://www.speaklikeapro.co.uk/Anaphora.htm which refers to anaphora as a technique in rhetoric.

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No science post today — I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off my regular schedule the second half of July. Why? The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival! I’ve signed up for creative writing again, and as usual I will more or less turn the blog over to the class. That means posts will mostly be about writing prompts and reading lists and much later than usual. (I usually set my posts to go live at 8 am ADT, but I won’t even get home to start writing the blog until after 5 pm for the next couple of weeks.) I hope some people will post their responses to those prompts as comments.

Six Sunday posts are already scheduled, as are quotation contexts on Wednesday. I’ll try to get ahead on Jarn’s Journal and pre-schedule that on Fridays, but no promises. Monday weather posts will be abbreviated and missing entirely July 30, but I’ll probably have things to say about the daily weather as it affects the SAF.

What is the Summer Arts Festival? It started out as a jazz festival, and has grown over the years with the addition of more and more types of 2-week classes. This year the broad divisions are music, visual arts, dance, healing arts, literary arts, and culinary arts, with numerous classes in each. Most are only an hour or two a day, and people come from all over the world, as well as Fairbanks, both to teach and to take classes. Numerous concerts and recitals are scheduled, including “Lunch Bites,” a sack lunch with short performances by Festival students and faculty. I’ll probably do a short reading.

The class I’ll be taking, creative writing, has four guest faculty: two back from previous years and two new.

Peggy Shumaker is the Alaskan Poet Laureate and basically created the creative writing program in the Summer Arts festival. She’ll probably have me trying my hand at poetry (again) so if you see an occasional poem here, you can thank Peggy.

Jeanne Clark has also been part of the Festival for several years. She’s from California State University at Chico, and generally has us writing poems, too. Jeanne also rescues Border Collies (another of my loves.)

Rob Davidson is new to me, but I suspect Jeanne recruited him as he’s also from California State College at Chico.  He’s recently published a book of short stories, The Farther Shore. He’ll probably be teaching fiction writing, though he has also published nonfiction.

Daryl Farmer is also new to me, though he teaches at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He teaches creative nonfiction writing.

It looks like it’s going to be an interesting two weeks.

Conferences, Places and Events

These posts are based on places, conferences and events.

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival

2010
General Description 7/18/10
Summer Festival 1 7/20/10
Summer Festival 2 7/21/10
Summer Festival 3 7/22/10
Summer Festival 4 7/23/10
Summer Festival 5 7/24/10
Summer Festival 2nd Week 7/25/10
Summer Festival 7/26 7/27 10
Summer Festival 7/27 7/28/10
Summer Festival 7/28 7/29/10
Summer Festival 7/29 7/30/10
Summer Festival 7/30 7/31/10

2011
Summer Arts Festival 7/12/11
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Day 1 7/18/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 2 7/19/11
POCHOIR 7/19/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 3 7/20/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 4 7/21/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 5 7/22/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 6 7/25/11
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Day 7 7/26/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 8 7/27/11
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Day 9 7/28/11
Summer Arts Festival Day 10 7/29/11
Writing Craft and Practice: Some Suggested Books 7/30/11
Summer Arts Festival: Three Concerts in One Day 8/2/11
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Reprise 8/30/11

2012
Summer Arts Festival is coming up 7/14/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/16/12
Summer Arts Festival continued 7/17/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/17/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/18/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/19/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/20/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/23/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/24/12
Summer Arts Festival 7/25/12
Summer Arts Festival Reading List 7/26/12

OLLI Classes

The Cambrian Explosion 4/22/11
How did We Learn to Walk? 4/29/11
Back to the Water 5/6/11
Where did the First Plants Come From? 5/13/11
It’s Class Time—Even for Adults 3/9/11
The Alaskan Mesozoic 11/1/11
Mesozoic Alaska, Part 2 11/8/11
Alaskan Mesozoic 3 11/15/11
About OLLI 4/17/14

Other Events

First Book Signing 11/21/10
Reading in the Dark 2/20/11
Homecoming Award 3/1/11
Ice Sculpture: Ice and Sun 3/26/11
More on Ice Melting 3/27/11
Musk Ox Art 9/6/11
A Concert for New York, as Seen in Alaska 9/13/11
Fairbanks Chamber Orchestra Concert 10/3/11
Ice Art 1 3/6/12
Ice Again: Single Block by daylight 1 3/8/12
Ice Sculpture: Single Block by Daylight 2 3/10/12
More Ice Sculpture: Multi-Block in Progress 3/13/12
Multi-Block winners 1 3/15/12
World Ice Art Championships Multi-Block 2 3/17/12
The Fairbanks Ice Park for Children 3/20/12
Kids and Cannons 5/1/12
Tanana Valley Farmers’ Market Opening 5/17/12
Off to the Shows (Dog show) 5/31/12
Opera Fairbanks Concert 7/10/12
Trying to Photograph a Horse Show 7/13/12
The Fair Horse Shows 8/16/12
Quilling 9/15/12
Quilled Necklaces 10/16/12
North Pole weather, first 2013 Ice Art 3/4/13
More Ice Art 3/5/13
Ice Art 3rd places and Multi-Block update 3/7/13
Ice Art Multi-block Winners 3/14/13
2014 Ice Park opening 2/25/14
2014 Ice Park Tuesday 2/28/14
2nd and 3rd places single block 3/4/14
Ice Park Photos 3/6/14
Ice Art 3/13/14
Ice Sculptures 3/18/14
2014 Ice Park slide show 3/25/14
50th Anniversary, Good Friday Earthquake 3/27/14
I for Ice Sculptures 4/10/14
The Race that Wasn’t 7/24/24

Places

The Alaska Salmon Bake 5/17/11
Trying to Sell Books (Farmers’ Market) 6/23/11
Tanana Valley State Fair 8/9/11
Tanana Valley State Fair Again 8/11 11
The Johnson Art Museum 10/18/11
Tombstone and Bisbee, Arizona 10/25/11
North Pole Christmas Eve 12/24/11
It’s Fair Time! 8/4/12
Tanana Valley State Fair Quilt Show 8/7/12
Giant Cabbage Weigh-in 8/9/12
The Corning Museum of Glasss 6/4/13
Shipping from the Corning Museum 6/11/13
More Corning Photos 6/18/13
Corning Again 6/20/13
Corning Glass Sculptures 6/25/13
Tanana Valley State Fair 2013 Quilts Show 1, 8/6/13
Tanana Valley  State Fair Quilts show 2, 8/8/13
Tanana Valley State Fair Quilts 3 8/17/13
Geometric Quilts 8/20/13
Alaskan-Themed Quilts 8/24/13
Medallion Quilts 8/27/13
Flower and Diamond Quilts 8/29/13
Double Wedding Ring Quilt 8/31/13
Tanana Valley Fair and Weather 8/5/14
Peonies From Heaven (quilts) 8/7/14
More Quilts 8/14/14

This was a Summer Arts Festival assignment, to write a poem about writing and inspiration, using the word “swipe.” It wound up as my contribution to Feathers, hence the embellishment.I’ll probably have another post, later today, announcing a contest.