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MSU's MFA Program to Host Summer Writing Workshop and Reading Series

Matt Markgraf

The Murray State University MFA in Creative Writing Program is approaching their annual July residency, which will feature various writing workshops and a public reading series. Carrie Jerrell, the director of the MSU MFA in Creative Writing Program, visited Sounds Good to discuss the speakers, workshops, and reading events the community can expect in July. 

The low-residency MFA Program at MSU allows student writers to work on their craft where they live and under the guidance of prize-winning writers. The MFA program is about to kick off their July residency, a nine-day residency in which students can join a community of writers for intensive study, readings, lectures, and workshops. Students, along with their faculty mentor assigned at the beginning of the residency, will collaboratively design a work plan, including a reading list and proposed writing projects. On-campus residencies, both in July and January, comprise 13 of the 49 credit hours required for the MFA in Creative Writing degree program at Murray State. 

Reading series taking place during the summer residency are free and open to the public. The headliner for this series is fictional author and Eastern Kentucky native, Crystal Wilkinson, who is also the 2018 recipient of the Clinton and Mary Opal Moore Appalachian Writer's Residency. Wilkinson will start the reading series off on Friday night, July 6th, at 7:30 pm. Other reading sessions will be done by poets Caki Wilkinson, Christopher Collins, and Pamela Johnson Parker, and fictional author, Casey Pycior. All readings throughout the residency will take place at the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery, located on campus on the 6th floor of the Price Doyle Fine Arts Building.

Also open to the community are weekend workshops hosted by Crystal Wilkinson and Caki Wilkinson over fictional writing and poetry, respectively. Crystal Wilkinson will host "From Belly to Heart: Writing Stories," and will guide writers in generating new material at the workshop. Caki Wilkinson, the mentor of the poetry workshop, "Inventive Revision," encourages participants to bring existing poems that might have collected dust over the years to the workshop for rejuvenation and/or revision. 

For more information on the Murray State MFA Creative Writing program, the summer residency, or the authors involved, visit the MFA Creative Writing program's website. 

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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