Heroes and High School Converge at Creative Writing Conference

Published: September 16, 2009 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Heroes and heroines will be the topic of discussion at Southern Utah University’s Creative Writing and Creative Teaching Conference this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. With the theme of “Writing the Hero/Heroine’s Story,” the conference will feature guest lectures, book discussions and workshops to help current teachers and writers in their craft. 

According to SUU English Professor Danielle Dubrasky, who organizes this annual conference, SUU’s Creative Writing and Creative Teaching conference grows in popularity every year, serving as an excellent resource to high school educators statewide who work to engage their students in the language arts. 

The conference kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight in the Cedar City Public Library with an author’s book group discussion that is open to the public. The discussion will feature the poet W.S. Di Piero from Stanford University. Di Piero will focus his discussion on his books Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems and City Dog, a collection of essays. Di Piero is a poet and professor at Stanford University; he has written nine collections of poetry, four collections of essays, and has translated poetry by Giacomo Liapardi and Leonardo Sinisgalli. He teaches undergraduate courses on poetry and the Stegner Fellow Workshop at Stanford University. 

This open discussion is sponsored by SUU’s Department of English, the Utah Humanities Council, the Cedar City Library and Braun’s Books. Prior to this evening, complimentary copies of each book will be available to the first five book discussion participants at Braun’s Books on Main Street. 

In addition to Di Piero, the conference will feature visiting writer Alison Deming, a nonfiction writer and professor from the University of Arizona. Deming will join Di Piero on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Whiting Room of SUU’s Hunter Conference Center in readings of both the writers’ works. Deming identifies herself as a poet, essayist and teacher, and much of her work focuses on her interactions with and experiences in nature. 

Following this evening’s discussion, more than 30 high school educators from around the state will then attend workshops throughout the day Friday and Saturday. The conference attendees will also join the opening night audience at the Utah Shakespearean festival’s fall season to see Tuesdays with Morrie in the Randall Jones Theatre. 

This year’s workshops cover a wide range of topics related to creative writing and storytelling, including poetry, nonfiction, drama and playwriting, and focused work on writing for your protagonist. True to this year’s theme, the conference will conclude with a discussion entitled “The Archetype of the Hero” by SUU Professors Danielle Dubrasky and Grant Corser and “The Pedagogy of Creative Writing: Writing the Hero/Heroine’s Story within the Academic Story” by Nola Lodge and Scott Sorensen, from the University of Utah, and Danielle Dubrasky.

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