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Writer In Residence on Campus: Karen Brennan

by Camille Panetta, staff writer

Karen Brennan

Every semester here at Warren Wilson, the Creative Writing program brings to campus a different Writer in Residence. They alternate between fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, which is the emphasis this semester. They make their selection based on recommendations from Deb Allbery, the director of the MFA program.

This semester’s Writer in Residence is Karen Brennan. Brennan has been teaching in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers since 1993.

“I’ve moved many times and been through many life changes, so Warren Wilson is like a kind of home to me. The students are always wonderful and inspiring and some of my closest friends are on the faculty.”

Brennan first became interested in writing as a kid.

“I made up plays and puppet shows and forced the neighborhood kids to watch them! I also always loved to read, especially fairy tales.” Brennan went to college in Boston and then got her MFA from the old Warren Wilson grad program which was in Vermont, at Goddard. She then got her PHD in English. She has written eight books, two of which are on their way and one that has recently been published and is in stores now. Being with Rachel is about a horrific accident involving her daughter, and the slow healing that took place in its aftermath as her daughter learned once again to talk and walk and recall events. Brennan’s other books are Here on Earth, Wild Desire, The Garden in Which I Walk, The Real Enough World, Little Dark (coming out in April), and Monsters (which will come out some time next year).

“I write in many different genres and so my writing style varies from project to project. I like to think of myself as a lyric poet, an innovative fiction writer and a more down-to-earth nonfiction writer.”

While she is here as writer-in-residence, she will be working with creative writing students, attending workshops and consulting with seniors about their projects.

The two public events with Karen Brennan include a workshop held at the Writing Center from 11:30- 1:00 on Wednesday, Nov. 20 (pizza will be served and students can come and go as necessary), and a reading of a nonfiction piece at 7 PM the same day in the Cole Study Room of the library.


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