Save the Dates | June 27–29, 2014
Dear Writing Seminars Alum,
Slamming back into the Bennington Vortex is, we hope, in your future. We’re hard at work planning the 20th Reunion—visions of Tishman, the Commons, sitting on the grass with co-conspirators, the Labyrinth, and the fresh and lively exchange of ideas energize and excite us, and we’re reminded that our lives have been shaped and reshaped by our connection to Bennington. We are people of letters, and our contributions to the greater conversation are critical, surprising, and just plain awesome. Yes, we’ve been following your doings (without the NSA’s help) and we want to gather together as many of you as possible for the Reunion.
Much has changed—the College has a new president, Dr. Mariko Silver; three new houses have been built, and the delightfully rustic older dorms have been renovated; there’s a new Student Center; the Carriage Barn’s updo sparkles; the recently constructed Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) gleams, and its meditation room is not to be missed—oh, so much to see and do! June sunshine, moonlight in Vermont, friends, faculty. Bennington, where for many of us a journey to a new world began. And the trip’s not over—it never will be—but we hope you’ll come back to Bennington in June 2014.
As Sven wrote in the Bennington Faculty Vortex blog
When I find myself getting far from writing, from whatever it was that delivered the original thrill, and start to feel out of sync with the whole business, spending my time on tasks that don’t re-pay, on being dutiful, not writing what I want or need to be writing, not even sure I can identify what that even is; when I find myself, like Melville’s Ishmael, wanting to step into the street and start methodically knocking peoples’ hats off—then I know it’s high time to get to a stylist. Not of fashion, or hair, god forbid, but of prose.
But, of course. A visit to Bennington is all about style—your writing style, your creative lifestyle, your personal style. So pack up all you have in your literary kit bag and drop back into the world of ideas, arts and letters, and good friends, and come back to Bennington. You know you never really left anyway.
As I write this letter I’m reminded of these lines from Liam Rector’s “Now”
—I tell them those who build
And master are the ones invariably
Merry: Give and take quarter,
Create good meals within the slaughter,
A place for repose and laughter
So it is with hopes of giving and taking quarter that we announce to you some of what we are planning for June:
- Alumni will be invited to stay on campus. The price for the weekend ($300) includes your room, all meals, graduation, a ticket to the graduation reception and dinner, and entrance to all other alumni-specific events (except the Craft Sessions, see below). Space in the student houses will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration details will come in early April.
- Faculty-led craft sessions. As we are conceiving things now, these two-hour, genre-specific, roundtable sessions will be about CRAFT with discussions focusing on readings assigned by the faculty leaders. Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis and space will be limited. ($60 fee for each session.)
- Alumni luncheon. Details will be forthcoming.
- Book Party/Alumni Book Donation to Crossett Library. Copies of donated alumni books will be celebrated and on display in the library—and we will, with Bennington style, celebrate.
- Other alumni-driven, alumni-organized, and alumni-specific events. A North Bennington walk, alum Ciaran Cooper’s famous Labyrinth, and alum readings.
- Recreational activities. Softball? Yoga? So many possibilities!
Stay tuned for more details about all the events and registration, but until then please email me with any questions you have.
If you’re headed to Washington state at the end of February, please check in with Sven and Victoria at our table at AWP in Seattle for the latest in Bennington news. We’ve heard from many of you and I’m happy to report that lots of you are planning to come to the reunion. We all look very forward to seeing you in June. In fact, we can’t wait!
Catherine Parnell, June ’00
Molly Thomas, January ’06