Low Residency Creative Writing launches "Summer School" as part of its Summer 2022 Residency

June 20, 2022

"Repeated text 'summer' in white to yellow gradient, with 'school' in black cursive below and a sketch of a hand holding a brush on the right."

On Thursday, June 23rd, PNCA's Low Residency Creative Writing MFA launches "Summer School" as part of its Summer 2022 Residency. Summer School consists of the 6 graduating LRCW students offering Generative Making Sessions, free and open to the public. Folks can attend via Zoom or in-person at 511 NW Broadway, Room 413. 

If you'd like to attend via Zoom, please email Jay Ponteri at jponteri@willamette.edu. 

Below our Summer School's Inaugural Offerings & Times:

10am: Rachel Keller

11am: Manya Orescan Campos

1pm: Molly Collins

2pm: Leah Herzing

4pm: Russell Hill

5pm: ocean 


glass coffin craft: the magic in the retelling of fairy tales

Rachel Keller

Fairy tales have survived over the centuries as some of the most well-known stories of all time. But their preservation is no accident; in fact, it is through the art of reshaping and reshaping these stories that they continue to withstand the test of time. In this class, we will discuss the necessity in adding each generation’s voice on the personal and societal issues and pressures of their times, and also do a generative exercise in order to hone this magic for ourselves. 

The Psychology of an Altar

Manya Orescan Campos

“My mother taught me how to build an altar on a dirty train.”

I will open with a chant and share a little about my personal experience with altars; building them, connecting with it as a place of reflection, personal healing, discovery, transformation and ancestral reclamation. This is intended to encourage the students/makers/artists to become attuned with the space we create in, our environment/home, and how that may be in visceral connection to the quality of presence we bring to our making. I will then ask the students to reflect on their sensory experience and together we will engage in a writing exercise. 

An Empty Chair– On Silence, Space, and Wonder

Molly Collins

As a habitual oversharer in my personal life, I’ve been reminded by many that some things are better left unsaid. I did not truly reflect on this platitude until I found myself writing about the loss of my grandfather; attempting to attach words to an experience I cannot fully understand.

Guided by Doris Salcedo, Paul Simon, John Keats, and Diana Khoi Nguyen, we will explore art born from spaces of uncertainty, loss, and physical violence. We will discuss how embracing silence and negative space can provoke emotional responses in our work.

I hope to leave our time together with more doubts, feeling inspired to use these “new-unknowns” as generative material. Please bring scissors and paper (or any material you feel comfortable destroying).

Writing in Fragments: Gold Filling in a Broken Vase

Leah Herzing

In this lecture we will discuss the art of fragmentation in creative nonfiction. Drawing on examples from The Crying Book by Heather Christle, Bluets by Maggie Nelson, and A Bestiary by Lily Hoang, I hope to impart a sense of excitement about the possibilities of fragmentation and how it can express greater emotion and nuance than what a traditional essay or straightforward narrative produces. There will be time to produce a 100 word/graphic document utilizing the format. Photographs/graphics are encouraged, as well as hyperlinks or AV files for those interested in creating an electronic document. 

Dreamblur: dream poetry in the shadow of Frank Stanford


A brief presentation on the life and works of the poet Frank Stanford, followed by the composition of our own dream-based poem. 

A note from Ocean: Fellow students! For ocean’s generative making session please prepare in the week ahead by attempting to catch and write down a few images from your dreams at night. “Images” does not just connote still objects; it can include scenes, actions, events, motions, encounters. If you are not a frequent oneironaut, jot down a few images from dreams you’ve had recently, or not-so-recently, or from any time in your life that you can remember. These do not need to be the most astounding images, the most surreal, or anything like that. And if you absolutely have never remembered dreaming in your entire life, just jot down a few glimpses from your waking life that you have noticed that have caught your attention of late, and bring them along to ocean’s class.        

This Subject of Critique—

Russell Hill

In this conversation we will explore critique as it relates to the writer's workshop. My own concepts and struggle with critique will be brought forward. We will review critique from its formal beginning in the Iowa Writers Workshop and the lens through which critique has been viewed for nearly 100 years. We will examine our own lens and (re)consider how such a tool can be put to better use building equity and support for writers as well as how such a paradigm shift might change our world view. Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses is at the core of this interaction. The Generative Making Session intends to draw out thoughts and experiences from the participants creating space for reflection. Note-taking paper will be provided.