Route 9 Alumni Omnibus

Route NineIn honor of the 50th anniversary of the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers Route 9 has published an Omnibus of Poets, Writers and Artists from the UMass Amherst MFA program.

My story, The Greening, was accepted. I sent it in because it began in an MFA classroom, when a professor challenged us to read Joyce and write a pastiche that sounded like Joyce. I had a lot of fun with that assignment and happily showed the results to another professor, who was quiet for a long moment, and then said: “Well, there’s no way you can keep that up for a whole novel.” Of course I took the challenge, and of course I couldn’t, but I did get a long short story out of it that I was pleased enough with to make into the frame story for my first book, THE WHALE ROAD.

It’s fun see The Greening published as a stand-alone story in Route 9. Seemed appropriate for an Alumni edition, though odd/nostalgic to see old writing resurfacing.  I bet my old writing group, The Fiction Chicks, would say, “oh gahd, not that one again!” There are so very many ways any one story can be told (and creative nonfiction was not popular around the program when I was there).

I do hope to get to the Alum get-together this weekend (I gather Route 9 is asking to record authors reading from their works). A serious question. Why is it so hard to go back?