Sunday, February 1, 2009

Scott Blackwood's WE AGREED TO MEET JUST HERE and the 2009 AWP Conference

So, some pretty exciting stuff is going on in my school at the moment. It's a thrilling time to be a student in the Creative Writing MFA Program at Roosevelt University. First of all, my fiction teacher and director of our program Scott Blackwood has a brand new novel out today called We Agreed to Meet Just Here. I've had it pre-ordered for a few weeks now and can't wait to dig in. We Agreed to Meet Just Here was the recipient for the AWP Award Series in the Novel in 2007. I haven't gotten to read it yet, but here are some reviews I pulled off New Issue Press' website:

We Agreed to Meet Just Here is a lyrical mystery about disappearance, told in precise and luminous prose. A young lifeguard in an Austin suburb vanishes one night while returning from a screening of The Third Man. A doctor, ill with cancer, goes missing from his home, and is later seen, bearded and ragged, wandering the aisles of a grocery store. A car is stolen, the unseen consequences tragic. One child is given up to adoption, another is lost up a tree. The absences are so keenly felt, in the drifting lucidity of the author’s sentences, that every reappearance reads like a small miracle.”

       —Robert Eversz, Judge AWP Award Series in the Novel

"This little gem of a book puts on lush display Scott Blackwood's talent for measuring and connecting the previously un-connectable in lived experience, and making of it an entirely new whole which we immediately accept as true, natural, exhilarating, even inevitable. He is a lovely sentence writer, and this first novel sparkles with invention."

       —Richard Ford

“Extravagantly beautiful and yet offhand, We Agreed to Meet Just Here sweeps us along with its lush, hypnotic prose. Each of its characters is drawn to the illusion of forbidden perfection, the belief that the darkness, absence, and silence from which babies arrive and into which the dead enter is numinous proof our every wish will be fulfilled. As readers, we see what Scott Blackwood’s characters can’t see: a world so perfectly wrought every small gesture or urge matters.”

       —Debra Monroe, author of Shambles

"A sense of imminent and unskirtable dread hangs like woodsmoke over Texas native Scott Blackwood's finely wrought first novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here. . . . a triumph of language and atmospherics and — as we're drawn deeper into the characters' private worlds, hallucinations, and dreams — a travelogue of unfamiliar emotional terrain."

       —Mike Shea, Texas Monthly, January 2009

Congratulations Scott! Speaking of AWP, the 2009 AWP Conference is coming to Chicago February 11th through 14th! And Roosevelt University will be hosting the keynote address, as a major sponsor of the conference, by Art Spiegelman in our beautiful Auditorium Theatre. I will be attending countless events over the entire weekend, including a reading and release party for Scott Blackwood's book. I will also be working a booth at the conference that promotes both Roosevelt's Creative Writing Program and this year's issue of Oyez Review. Keep Checking in for exciting updates as I get a front row seat to the largest gathering of the preeminent writers in the country. It doesn't get ANY bigger than this in the world of literature! 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds exciting, bring the book home for me to read. Can't wait to hear about the conference.