Envy at Grand Valley

March 29, 2011 — Leave a comment

Last Thursday I gave a reading at Grand Valley State University, where I was hosted by the super-awesome Austin Bunn, and after driving through farms, fields, and farm-fields-turned-suburban-street-pockets, I was impressed by GVSU’s size, and even more by its ART. Everywhere. Amazing collages and paintings and posters, many of which were made by recent graduates. And a great culture of literary arts – lots of enthusiastic students writing creepy cool flash fiction and getting into impressive graduate programs.

I kinda wish I’d taken pics of the visual art on the walls of the Writing Department. (NOT the English Department, mind you: the writers seceded from the union a decade ago. INteresting.)

I’ve been known to take pictures of art at other schools. Here’s a painting I liked at Taylor University:

That’s a bad picture. It was cool in person.

I was also fairly charmed by these snowcreatures, also near Taylor University:

So, why I didn’t take pictures of the cool art at GVSU is beyond me. My only other lament is that I didn’t get more time with Caitlin Horrocks, who caught my reading between classes, and who makes GVSU even greater.

Even though I didn’t take pictures like I should have, I received an amazing parting gift, which I have already framed and photographed: a broadside of my story, “Mermaids”:

And staff writer Rebekah Young published a lovely article about my visit in the Grand Valley Lanthorn. (Thanks, Rebekah!) Here’s how it ends:

“I love the act of creating — of generating material, shaping phrases, arranging segments and creating something meaningful,” Parker said. “After a long night of writing, I sometimes look at my hands expecting to see something like dried paint or clay residue. After all that hard work, there should be some physical evidence.”

Read the rest here.



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