Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Writers Center of Indiana

Located just behind the Indianapolis Arts Center, the Writers Center of Indiana is a unique resource for this city, and state.

Here's their mission statement:

"Our mission is to nurture a writing community, to support established and emerging writers, to improve written and verbal communication, and to develop an audience for literature in Indiana."

I'm not going to go into all that the WCI does, but I'll say that they offer classes for all writing levels (you just have to become a member) in fiction and poetry. They also organize and host readings and literary events.

Last year the hosted the very successful 1st Annual Indiana Poetry Festival, which included poets Ted Kooser, and one of my favorites, Maurice Manning (I looked around for some kind of archived web page that had more info but couldn't find it). Really there were a lot of poets there, and Kooser and Manning were the first two that popped into my mind. I know they are planning to have the 2nd Annual Indiana Poetry Festival, but no details have been announced.

On Friday, April 13 the WCI will host, as part of it's Indy Underground series, Michael Martone, whose writing is not "ten years behind painting" as an anonymous poster recently suggested some writing is. Martone often deals directly with the state of Indiana in his fiction.

Another, apparently popular, event they host is PING: Poetry in the Gallery. A night in which poets read (I think there's a kind of open sign-up) poems in IMA galleries that relate to the works hanging in that spot. Though, personally, I've never found this sort of thing interesting (not even when William Carlos Williams did it), I'm sure many visual artists here would be engaged by having poets respond to their work. While I think visual art often deserves a response, I think it too often leads to the glamorizing of visual arts by writers and smacks of a certain kind of 'creativity' that I don't find interesting. And, no, I'm not that fond of writers writing about writers either. But I digress. I haven't even been to a PING and I'm saying all that. You would think I have better sense than to light up on something like this.

Apparently the WCI will be re-launching a print publication titled "The Flying Island." I don't know what format that will take. I do remember, though, that they used to publish a chapbook-style publication "Maize". You'll have to check their web page for more info.

Speaking of publications, I want to point out that both Purdue University and Indiana University publish literary journals as part of their MFA in creative writing programs. I believe both of these journals are on the list of the "Best American Poetry & Fiction Series" lists (I imaging other MFA programs in Indiana publish things too, Notre Dame, others?):

I.U. publishes the Indiana Review

P.U. publishes the Sycamore Review

4 Responses to “The Writers Center of Indiana”

Anonymous said...
March 20, 2007 at 3:42 PM

I thought this was a visual arts blog. Is it going to become a "all things cultural" blog? No thanks.

Richard said...
March 22, 2007 at 11:17 PM

Hmm... does that mean that "anonymous" is not going to be posting here anymore?

But, to be friendly, I will take your point on in a different way: what is okay to talk about here?

"Visual Arts"?
"Public Art"?
Music (classical, pop)?

I, for one, would appreciate posts about any of those, in the right context. But, I would prefer that this blog be primarily about the visual arts here in Indy.

And, for me, the visual arts include architecture and public art (be that what it may), because I can see it when my eyes are open.

However, I do think there has been a long standing relationship between literature and 'visual art'. After all, from many a good source, I know that a lot of artists read or have read books in their lives and these books have affected them directly. And, I also am confident that many a poet has looked at 'visual art' and it has affected him or her directly.

I'm curious about 'anonymous'' strong reaction against literature. Why would that be the point of no return?

Anonymous said...
March 23, 2007 at 9:59 PM

I have no strong reaction against literature. I love literature and I love poetry. I also love that there is a forum for VISUAL ART IN INDIANAPOLIS. As soon as this blog starts to be about poetry, literature, theater, dance, all of the other great arts, the less interesting and pointed and focussed it's going to be. I like that people who know about and are invested in visual art in Indianapolis have a virtual place to meet. Why do we need to dilute it? Is there really not enough visual art to blog about? Most people who are invested in one art form simply don't know as much about other art forms. Folks who know a bit about everything tend not to have very incisive things to say about anything. So the prospect that this will turn into a watered down commentary on all sorts of "cultural stuff" does not make me excited.
And literature was not the point of no return. It was the departure from visual art. Duh, yes architecture is visual art. "Public art" meaning sculpture, painting, etc? Yes, it's visual art. Luckily we haven't had any music or theater postings here yet, or I would have asked what they were doing on this blog, too.

Anonymous said...
March 30, 2007 at 9:59 AM

I agree with "anon" above. This blog should stay about visual art ONLY. There are scads of other blogs about poetry and writing. I full support the writer's center and have even donated to them, but to further splinter this site down into other non-visual art forms is a mistake in my view. It would only detract focus from something that is already last on many folks list in this town.

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