By Bryce Bullins
Acclaimed author of the book Small Apartments (and soon to be film director) Chris Millis launched the Spring 2014 Writers in the Woods season at SNC by giving a craft talk on screenplays and more specifically, the act of storytelling. Millis’ talk centered on Aristotelian poetics, specifically the three act structure and the dramatic devices therein. He showcased how several films still hold to these ancient conventions.
The films he used as examples were as wide ranging as Pixar’s animated series Toy Story to more serious affairs such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. Millis presented the idea that stories are the only way with which we, as part of the human experience, are able to explain the often un-explainable and connect with something approaching our own lives, and through this parity, we are able to better understand the world in which we live. The talk was attended by upwards of 50 people and was a fantastic start of the 2014 Writers in the Woods season.
For more on Chris Millis’ projects, visit: http://www.chrismillis.com/
By Bryce Bullins
Sierra Nevada College’s Fall 2013 Writer’s in the Woods series will wrap up this week as acclaimed author Nahid Rachlin comes to visit Friday. In addition, she will be offering a workshop the following day.
The reading will be held in TCES 139/141 at 7:00pm on Friday, Nov. 15 and the workshop will be held in the same space the following day, Saturday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m.
Nahid’s publications include a memoir, Persian Girls, four novels, Jumping Over Fire, Foreigner, Married to A Stranger, The Heart’s Desire, and a collection of short stories, Veils. Nahid currently teaches at the prestigious New School University in New York City.
To prepare for Friday’s reading, you can watch Nahid read from Persian Girls. She reads excerpts from various chapters in the book, such as an early memory of first meeting her birth mother, as Nahid was growing up in a Tehran, Iran ruled by the Shah. Reading Group Guides also offers some interesting questions for participants.
Humanities Instructor Jared Stanley shared his work Sunday, Nov. 10, during an afternoon of poetry titled, “It Calls from the Creek,” hosted by ART OnSite. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the ties between the Nevada City community, the environment and the arts through outdoor art installations along the Deer Creek Tribute Trail.
Jared Stanley is a member of the public art group Unmanned Minerals which created “It Calls From the Creek,” a series of 10 installations along the Deer Creek Tribute Trail in Nevada City. Jared is the author of two books, “Weeds” and “Book Made of Forest,” as well as other published work. The tribute trail will be open through September 2014.
By Beth Portesi
Rhythm, rhyme, sound, words and meaning encompassed the second of the Writers in the Woods series. The evening included a one hour spoken word presentation followed by an open mic on Friday, Sept. 20, at Sierra Nevada College. This served as a platform for individuals to express their personal philosophies and life experiences through poetry and narratives.
In a generation where communicating is done through anything that has a touch screen or news feed, the Spoken Word was a breath of fresh air. A reminder of how connected we are as humans, how we all experience love and tragedy, peace and chaos. I was mesmerized by each word of the roughly 10 speakers who reflected on personal growth, expressed dissatisfaction with modern society, and playfully expanded on random thoughts.
If someone had suggested I attend a poetry reading on a Friday night, chances are I would have declined because I have never taken much interest in it. After attending the event, you can find “slam poetry” in my Youtube history and an email subscription to the local Spoken Views Collective newsletter. And extra credit had nothing to do with it. Each of these beings humbled my heart as they bravely and openly explored the truest of human experiences.
By Bryce Bullins
The 2013 – 2014 Writers in the Woods literary series kicked off this September with a reading and craft talk by Tobias Wolff. Wolff’s book Old School was the Common Read for the 2013 – 2014 year at Sierra Nevada College.
Wolff’s craft talk was particularly interesting because temporality and its effects within short stories guided some of the conversation. Of note, Wolff selected two Anton Chekov stories to help elucidate his points on narrative structure and how the voice of the narrator, be it third or first person, is crucial to telling a great story.