Beyond the Pain: A Writing Exercise

I’ve been teaching in the low-residency MFA program at Miami University here in Ohio the past few days, and one day I led a writing activity for people in our prose workshop. Both fiction and nonfiction writers went through the following steps to great success. They found genuine, strong voices while also developing a deeper…

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Struggle and Empathy

We’re nearing the middle of January, which means the end of the month is in sight.  Given the challenges of the pandemic, I thought it interesting to revisit this post from a year ago. A native Midwesterner, I’ve always thought of winter as an endurance test, and each signpost along the way—the end of January,…

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Struggle and Empathy

We’ve reached the final week of January, which always feels significant to me. A native Midwesterner, I’ve always thought of winter as an endurance test, and each signpost along the way—the end of January, Valentine’s Day, the NCAA basketball tournament, etc.—a mark that brings us closer to spring. Here in the Midwest, we earn our…

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Bravery and Empathy

On Friday evening, my wife and I had the privilege of attending the capstone event for the Young Writers Workshop that we have at Ohio State University each summer. I believe it’s been about nine summers now. I remember closing the deal with our generous donor when I was directing the creative writing program back…

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