May 2015

Commencement Speech: “The Urgency To Believe or The Pragmatic Quality of Optimism”

By MFA in Creative Writing Faculty Advisor Darrah Cloud (BA ’78) February 15, 2015   Today you are graduating from Goddard College. I take this very seriously because I too graduated from Goddard College. So did my sister, who runs the most innovative Institute for Sustainability Education in the world. Even now at her age, […]

December 2013

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto: On the Birth of Clockhouse

  On November 1st, a new national literary journal was born.  Clockhouse was the dream of two of my master’s degree candidates in the MFA in Creative Writing program my very first semester teaching at Goddard.  Led by a group of alumni, editorially-independent, the journal they imagined was nevertheless essentially of Goddard, for Goddard; you […]

November 2013

Elena Georgiou: Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied…

  For all the people who just wrote to ask me how to improve their work, see below: After twenty-two years of helping people to improve their writing–this applies to all genres–the top ten bits of advice come down to four.  I’ll leave it to a famous writer to pass on, since I love her […]

Deborah Brevoort: The Radical Power of Art

  Lewis Hyde, in a terrific book called The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, compares the radical power of art to gift giving.  All over the world, gift-giving rituals work in invisible ways to create community, strengthen bonds between people, and create obligations.   In Southeast Alaskan native cultures, for example, anyone […]

October 2013

Tips on Memoir, Revising and Editing

  by Aimee Liu THE ART OF THE MEMOIR Here’s the art of memoir in a nutshell: Through the story of the experience, we get to know the past you; through the voice and insights you bring to the writing of that experience, we get to know and care about the present you — and […]

Victoria Nelson's Commencement Address, Fall 2013

Commencement July 14, 2013 Welcome graduates and families and friends, welcome students, welcome everybody to the Goddard MFA in Creative Writing graduation ceremony here at Port Townsend. And congratulations, graduates, for successfully completing a rigorous and life-changing two years of study and writing. You have been honing your creative writing skills in the protected environment […]

April 2013

Turn the Key, an Interview with Virginia Woolf

  Originally published on Her Kind, the blog for Vida (Women in the Literary Arts).  Why did I resurrect Virginia Woolf? I am British. (Working-class roots. Cypriot ancestry.) With this birthright comes an acute sense of class. So every time I hear about Virginia Woolf’s five hundred pounds per year inheritance, which relieved her from […]

March 2013

"This Place Is Magic"

  This beautiful piece was read by my colleague, Reiko Rahna Rizzuto, at the end of our January residency in Plainfield: As I put the snow and icicles of Goddard behind me for another semester, I was thinking about the question of whether one can teach writing. I don’t know if we taught it, or […]

January 2013

A Writing Prompt

One thing you notice when you teach in an MFAW program is that students love writing prompts. And who can blame them? When Lynda Barry was our visiting writer / cartoonist / guru two years ago, a bunch of the faculty sat in on the remarkable workshops she offered in the Haybarn Theatre. The exercises […]

December 2012


With November recently behind us, writers across America are slumped over their keyboards, having endured another NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which the name of the game is cranking out as many pages of one’s novel as possible in thirty days. Years ago when I first heard about this month of extreme page […]