Saturday, June 20, 2015

River Teeth Conference 2015

by Hilary Donatini

From May 29-31 nearly eighty writers gathered on Ashland's campus to discuss the craft of creative nonfiction. The fourth annual River Teeth Nonfiction Conference featured readings and craft talks by some of the most exciting writers working in this burgeoning genre. I attended "A Conversation with Cheryl Strayed," which is available to view on the "Conference Archives" page along with numerous other gems from previous River Teeth conferences. 

A Conversation with Cheryl Strayed
I was struck by how practical the session was for any kind of writer, including someone like me who writes in scholarly rather than creative forms—although I try to be creatively analytical, if such a thing is possible! Our very own Joe Mackall focused much of the conversation on some passages from her best-selling book Wild, but Strayed's discussion of her revision process and evolution of the manuscript spoke to me as an academic writer. Strayed was so eloquent and wise that I found myself jotting down whole sentences to contemplate and absorb. 

The session left me with a sense of pride that our campus drew this caliber of speaker (Strayed has read her work at Ashland before, so seeing her again was a treat) and audience as well as possibility—for myself as a writer and for everyone struggling to make sense of the world through words on a page. 

Join us for the River Teeth Conference 2016!