Aye, aye Captain!

Much to Winston’s chagrin, I packed my suitcase this morning and headed off to Whidbey Island for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts Master of Fine Arts residency. I was part of the original faculty of this amazing MFA program, one of the few (and maybe the only) MFA programs supported by a writing community rather than a university.

I took a short diversion to West Beach to hunt for seaglass but got skunked

In the early days, the residencies were held at Fort Casey on the island; beautiful scenery, funky old-fashioned housing and soccer camp food. The young whippersnappers in the program now are spoiled with the beautiful scenery, cozy old-fashioned housing and restaurant quality food of Captain Whidbey’s Inn.

The writing corner in my darling room

My own sink!

It was great fun to greet old friends like director Wayne Ude, masterful flash fiction writer Bruce Holland Rogers and poet Carolyne Wright — who have all been involved since the beginning — and the dear Carmen Bernier-Grand, as well as my talented fellow critique group member, Bonny Becker. I had a brief moment to chat with the current nonfiction faculty, AnnaMaria Spagna but look forward to getting to know her a bit better.

If you’ve thought about doing an MFA program, be sure to investigate this one. One of the plusses in my mind about it is that it focuses on several genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s/YA. I know when I was on staff, I loved the chance to sit in on talks by poets Marvin Bell and David Wagoner and journaler extraordinaire, Susan Zwinger. There’s a great energy when you gather together writers who are all thinking about words in slightly different ways.

Plus you can’t beat the view! (I’ll post a picture from my room tomorrow — too dark tonight!)

No Responses to “Aye, aye Captain!”

  1. Kate Higgins

    Don’t you just love Captain Whidbey’s Inn. I keep this setting in mind when I need a haunted staircase or a wall of mirrors. It’s the best little inn that most people haven’t heard of. Enjoy your stay and write lots.