February 11, 2012

AWP, Pedagogy, and a Bruise

This morning I reviewed the AWP Chicago panel descriptions and tried to narrow down which I might attend. Beyond the directors' plenary and breakout sessions, I'm interested in some of the creative writing pedagogy panels and one on "fractal geographies of trauma and identity." I'm starting a project on ethnicity/race and depression, so perhaps this will give some insight. There's a session on Glissant that looks quite interesting and one on the legacy of Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop(!). How wonderful that Burning Deck Press and the Waldrops are being celebrated. Also quite intrigued by the panel on digital literary journals. If you are around, please stop by the JKS table in the Bookfair (for swag and to meet some of our current MFAs), and I'll be at the Fordham table for my CFBRed book signing on March 2 from 1-2 pm.

Spent the early afternoon answering pedagogical interview questions from a former Writing Fellow, who is now a PhD candidate down at DU. I discussed collaborative discourse and Kenneth Bruffee's dictum: How we teach is what we teach. That is, my pedagogy must demonstrate my values (empowering students, decentering authority, and developing knowledge and meaning together) as that is also being taught alongside the course material. Or another way to put it is: why teach transformative writing if you aren't going to teach it in a transformative way? One question asked, What is the most satisfying aspect of teaching for you? And easily the answer is: interactions that extend beyond the classroom--when the discussion assists with my own learning or inspires me to write or rethink something.

Also read an interesting interview about Laura Goldstein's Bruise. How often does a piece of drywall fall on you and inspire a poem! I'll be reading at her Red Rover Series in Chicago on March 3 at 9:30 pm. Stop by!

Must run: gotta translate a waka (Japanese poetry) about "asa midori": the morning green.