of the Month: Gina Ochsner
Keep an eye out for Gina Ochsner. Her first book, the weird, vivid, and
intimate story collection The Necessary Grace to Fall, won the
Flannery O'Connor Award last year, and no wonder. Set in far-flung locations,
her stories make distant things present and real, never exotic or gimmicky;
this is the real stuff, real stories about likeable, wounded, resilient
people who feel as if they could live next door to you, though in fact
they live in the Czech Republic, or Siberia, or Texas, or Alaska. Her
fiction has an aura of timelessness, placing mythology and burdened history
alongside modern, urban angst, sharply written dialogue, and urgent character
conflict. As Robert Olen Butler says, Ochsner has "the big gift,"
and we can't wait for her next book.
For more, visit her
Artist of the
Robert Clark, Fiction
Are you a "closet" fiction writer who perhaps needs a little
nudge or would benefit from the feedback of other writers? Nothing is
more helpful for aspiring writers than input, advice, and encouragement
in a small group setting. Even Tolkien and Lewis, two of the greatest
fiction writers of our time, adopted a small group in order to nurture
their craft and receive advice from one another in an informal and relaxed
atmosphere. In this fiction workshop, participants will spend time analyzing
matters of narrative craft, exposition, and structure, but more importantly,
they'll aim to discover and nurture those skills, gifts, and habits that
allow them to become writers of finished works of fiction. The workshop's
leader, Robert Clark, received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
for Biography/Memoir for My Grandfather's House: A Genealogy of Doubt
and Faith, and his novel Mr. White's Confession was chosen
by The Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 1999.
His most recent novel is Love Among the Ruins, and he is currently
at work on a study of the late career of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though his
resume may sound intimidating, we encourage anyone who is interested in
writing fiction to come and experience the encouragement and guidance
of working in a small group alongside Robert Clark. Last year Robert's
workshop received rave reviews from participants who loved his personable
style and enthusiasm. Sign up soon and you're sure to feel the same way!
Go to the Glen site for
the Gospels through Poetry
In Praying the Gospels through Poetry, scholar Peggy Rosenthal
offers a delightful companion to Lent and Holy Week. Through commentary
and contemporary poetry, Rosenthal has compiled a wonderful companion
book for anyone looking to experience the holy season leading up to Easter
in a fresh way. Poetry's ability to renew and make fresh the known is
on full display in this book. Rosenthal achieves a rare feat, playing
both literary critic and spiritual guide. She offers insightful commentary
as she studies each marker of the season, from Ash Wednesday to Easter
Sunday, through a variety of poet's voices. The book is compact but never
simple, a wonderful and unusual guide to the Easter season.
Note: Peggy Rosenthal
is on the faculty for this year's Glen Workshop and will be co-teaching
a seminar on Poetry and Spirituality. For details, see the Glen
page on the Image website.
Art Exhibits around the Country
James Disney: Votive Illusions
Pastor and artist James Disney paints with vibrant color and detail.
A self-taught painter, Disney has been strongly influenced by traditional
iconography, and his paintings incorporate "Mische" painting
techniques, which look for new ways to add detail and color to paintings.
His new collection of work, Votive Illusions, is on display through
March 2, 2003 at Gallery W in Sacramento, California. Go to the gallery's
website for more.
Aaron Lee Benson:
In their raw appearance and earthy medium, these sculptures seem chiseled
"Out of the Heart of the Earth." Faces and limbs just barely
emerge from the shape of tree stumps and rock formations like secrets
that nature alone can express. The sculptures are on display through February
8, 2003 in the Louise Jones Brown Gallery at the Bryan Center on the campus
of Duke University in North Carolina.
Two Artists and
Their Spiritual Journeys
The Nancy Wilson Scanlan Art Gallery in Austin, Texas, presents Two
Artists and Their Spiritual Journeys. James B. Jankgnet's paintings
and Ginger Henry Geyer's ceramic works make up an exhibit entitled The
Prodigal Son and Other Parables. These artists' renderings will find
new and insightful ways to interpret old parables. For Gallery hours and
directions, call (512) 327-1213 extension 139 or 144.
One: Writing for Hollywood
The genre of film has become one of the most powerful ways of communicating
truth and beauty in our time. What makes a film good, what makes a screenplay
truly beautiful, and how can we look at faith through the eyes of film
and see truth in new ways? Act One is a program that addresses these important
questions, providing participants with an opportunity to discuss what
it means to be a Christian in the entertainment business and looking at
ways believers can use their faith to create a powerful and truly beautiful
screenplay. The workshop offers writers a chance to glean wisdom from
accomplished Christian professionals in Hollywood. Among other things,
writers will learn the basics of writing for movies and television, what
makes a story powerful, how to create truly incarnational characters,
and helpful information for getting a manuscript into the right hands.
The faculty includes accomplished writers, actors, and producers of television
shows and films who have learned how to integrate their faith and careers.
The deadline for
application is April 1 for this summer's program; 30 students will be
accepted. To find out more, visit the Act
One program online.