Goddard College is pleased to announce the 2018 release of a new edition of Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing, published by GenPop Books. This anthology consists of thirty essays by faculty members in Goddard’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. All were originally delivered as keynote or commencement addresses between 2000 and 2018.
Each essay in this collection is focused on some aspect of writing or the writing life. Topics range from craft concerns, such as form and perspective, to issues of artistic ambition and the role of the writer as social activist.
MFA in Creative Writing Program Director Elena Georgiou explains, “These essays contain a tremendous amount of insight, wisdom, and inspiration for any writer who is serious about mastering the transformative power of the written word. So, it only seemed natural to collect these essays for others, both in and beyond the Goddard community.”
The writers read selections from their work at Montpelier’s Bear Pond Books in January 2019.
When asked to elaborate on the title, Alchemy of the Word, Ms. Georgiou points to the essay by Deborah Brevoort that kicks off this collection:
August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” the first in his ten-decade cycle of plays chronicling African American life in the United States, takes place in a Pittsburg boarding house during the Great Migration, when African Americans left the slave plantations of the south and headed north to build new lives as free men and women. This transition out of oppression and into freedom, from property to personhood, required that every person undertake an act of creation—of their individual selves and, also, of their community. The only tool that was powerful enough to achieve this monumental task was The Word, or, as Wilson more eloquently put it, “the molding of one’s spirit into a song.”
A first edition of this anthology was published in 2011. This new edition includes recent addresses by novelists Keenan Norris, Aimee Liu, and Micheline Aharonian Marcom; poets Bhanu Kapil and Kenny Fries; playwrights Darrah Cloud and Deborah Brevoort; as well as original essays by Kyle Bass, Rebecca Brown, Jan Clausen, Beatrix Gates, Elena Georgiou, Susan Kim, Michael Klein, Douglas A. Martin, Rogelio Martinez, John McManus, Victoria Nelson, Richard Panek, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, and Paul Selig.
The publisher of Alchemy of the Word is GenPop Books, an independent publisher of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, cross-genre work, and sundry curiosities. For more information, visit: www.genpopbooks.com/alchemy