News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Valley Life

November 11, 2012

Poet to deliver keynote at WordFest Creative Writing Symposium

TERRE HAUTE — Award-winning Hoosier poet Micah Ling will deliver the keynote address at WordFest 2012. Arts Illiana and the Vigo County Public Library are collaborating to stage the “2nd annual WordFest: Wabash Valley Creative Writing Symposium” on Dec. 1.   

Ling also served as a judge for the 2012 Max Ehrmann Poetry Contest and visited Terre Haute earlier this year to speak and present a reading of her poems.

She was the 2011 winner of the Indiana Emerging Author award and previously taught in the English department at Franklin College and in the MFA program at Butler. She recently accepted a position in the English department at Fordham University in Manhattan. Ling will also present a prose poetry workshop entitled “When to Break and When to Hold.”  

WordFest will offer a diverse line-up of presenters and workshops. In addition to Micah Ling, current Indiana Poet Laureate, Karen Kovacik, will lead the poetry workshop “Bottled Lightning and Origami Folds: Poets Inventing Their Own Forms.”

Two fiction workshops will be offered with ISU Associate Professor Aaron Michael Morales presenting “No Pleading the Fifth: An Exercise in Unearthing Character Motivation” and Roxane Gay, assistant professor of English at Eastern Illinois University, will offer “The Brutal Languages of Love,” a workshop focusing on the (im)possibility of writing love stories in their infinite variations.

Completing this year’s workshop schedule are two non-fiction offerings: Laura Mason, published poet and writer, will present “Speak for Yourself — Timed Writing Exercises About Our Life Experiences.” Stacey Muncie, freelance writer and columnist for Terre Haute Living, will offer a workshop entitled “Everyone Has a Story: Interviewing and Writing for Human Interest Pieces.”

Four award-winning authors and contributors to New Stories from the Midwest, a yearly anthology published by Indiana University Press, will present a panel discussion “The Creative Process, Midwestern Style” following the afternoon workshops. Panel members Ian Stansel, Chad Simpson, Bonnie Nadzam and Beth Mayer will discuss the writing process and the when, where, how, and why the Midwest fits into that process, from the seed of an idea to the published product. Jason Lee Brown, series editor of New Stories from the Midwest and Eastern Illinois writing instructor, will moderate the panel.

WordFest will culminate with a late afternoon “Reading of Works.” Participants and presenters will have the opportunity to share work created during the workshops or a piece they bring to the workshop. Coffee and snacks will be available to end the day in a relaxed setting.

WordFest was created to provide technical assistance to individual artists, a strong component of Arts Illiana’s mission. A portion of the funds from a 2012 technical assistance grant via the Indiana Arts Commission have been devoted to this project.

The deadline to register is Nov. 23. The cost is $20 and includes a morning and afternoon workshop, the panel discussion and lunch.

High school and college students can register at a reduced fee. Indiana State University and Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley students can register at no cost. Those interested in attending lunch and Ling’s keynote address and lunch can also pre-register for $10.  

Brochures and registration forms are available at Arts Illiana. The forms can also be downloaded from by clicking on the WordFest logo on the homepage. For more information call Arts Illiana at 812-235-5007.

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