I’m so sorry it’s so long! But it has been a wildly busy time. First of all, residency: I returned to my recent MFA alma mater, West Virginia Wesleyan College, to serve as residency assistant for this summer.
John Wesley and Hops
Hops on campus
Foxy goes to college
Katherine G. Johnson: mathematician at NASA, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, born in West Virginia.
I worked July 4-14, and every day was jam-packed. It was glorious being able to continue to be a part of this program I have so loved. (There was a little excitement with a missing college fleet car that I could have done without, but that is life.) And it was very nice to be able to attend every session I wanted to, and none I didn’t. I got to sit on a book reviews panel the last day of residency, and I really enjoyed being able to share some of what I love about doing this work. Highlights included Belle Boggs‘s reading, Cameron Barnett’s entire visit, and the company of returning faculty I love like Mesha Maren, Matt O’Wain (review of Meander Belt and interview forthcoming), and Jon Corcoran. And of course, hanging out with my buddy Abby. Hops really enjoyed having her as suitemate in the dorms.
Middle Fork River at Audra
unwinding with Geno post-residency
with Abby at Audra
caves at Audra
Middle Fork River
Mesha & Matt
Also accomplished this week: my buddy Liz picked up my Honda in Texas, and visited the brewery where I used to work, and picked up beer & whiskey for me (thanks Margaret for storing the Honda, and Aaron for the beer & whiskey), and she’ll be driving up here in a few weeks to help me begin my new life! I signed a ten-month lease on a little house, and got the first of my utilities lined up! I made a new friend (courtesy of Abby) who is a mountain biker! I’m pretty excited about starting this next chapter. But also loving being in the van; so this is bittersweet.
And now time for the big news! I got word recently that I am the recipient of one of two Irene McKinney Fellowships for the 2019-2020 school year. I will begin teaching writing composition classes this fall (with the possible addition of a literature section in the spring) as part of a nine-month teaching appointment at my MFA alma mater, West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Because I was already slated to serve as residency advisor there in July (within the low-residency MFA program I’ve recently graduated from), my van travels will be pausing in July to get moved in and ready for this next adventure. I say pausing, because the fellowship lasts just nine months, and I imagine I’ll be restarting again in May of 2020 when my West Virginia sojourn adjourns. Things could always change.
I am already, in April, mourning the end of the traveling life; but teaching will be a great challenge and adventure that I am looking forward to. And I guess it gives me some peace to know the shape of things. I can now see my next few months forming: I know there are a few places I need to see before July, so my itinerary starts to round out in my head. And I’m already thinking about what I may have to offer my students in August. It’s an exciting world.
For now, nothing much changes in the day-to-day, except that I have textbook selection to do! I’ll still be posting pictures of breweries, trails and vistas, reading books and visiting friends. For now: onward down the road.