Writing Workshops

On this edition of ST, we speak with the acclaimed poet and writing instructor Quraysh Ali Lansana (born 1964 in Enid, Oklahoma). Now based in Tulsa and recently named a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Lansana has published several books over the years: poetry collections, children's books, edited or co-edited anthologies, textbooks, etc. Long based in Chicago, and greatly influenced by the African-American cultural, social, and political life of that city -- and more generally, by the Black Arts Movement in American life and letters -- Lansana has a new book out.

Our guest is the noted playwright, Sarah Ruhl, a Tony Award nominee and the author of "100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write," which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She tells us about her newest book, a collection of moving and insightful letters between herself and Max Ritvo (1990-2016). Ruhl teaches at the Yale School of drama, and Ritvo -- a noted poet who died young of cancer -- had been one of her favorite students.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the locally based poet, poetry teacher, and literary activist, Victoria McArtor. She tells us about her new book, "Reverse Selfie," which is a collection of poems written in response to -- or in conversation with, or in tribute to -- various Tulsa landmarks. This book, which actually began as a write-one-poem-every-day-for-a-month project back in 2015, also features striking photographs by Matthew Phipps, thereby capturing in both words and images the vitality, beauty, wonder, and strangeness of the City of Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Billy Collins back to our show. He is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2016 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, and he'll be reading from his work at an event here in Tulsa on Saturday the 3rd at the downtown Central Library. (This event begins at 10:30am and is free to the public.) Known and loved by readers everywhere for his accessible, conversational, clearly rendered, and often witty poems, Collins has been called "the most popular poet in America" by The New York Times.

On this edition of ST, we learn about a novel called "The Unraveling of Mercy Louis," which has just recently appeared in paperback. Our guest is the author, Keija Parssinen, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and Texas before graduating from Princeton University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Parssinen is now an assistant professor of English at the University of Tulsa, and she tells us about the themes, experiences, and ideas that led to the creation of this (her second) novel.

Today's ST is a replay of a show from two weeks ago, which was preempted by a presidential press conference. For this edition of our program, we check in with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, for a few page-turning gift suggestions. (With the holidays fast upon us, it's entirely worth pointing out that one can never really go wrong with a good book....) A well-known librarian, now retired, who began appearing on our show back when she lived in Tulsa -- in the early 1990s -- Nancy is also a bestselling author, literary critic, and book editor.

On this edition of our show, we get to know the novelist and short story writer Jennifer duBois, who teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University. Her first novel, "A Partial History of Lost Causes," was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and her second, "Cartwheel," won the Housatonic Book Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Stanford University Stegner Fellow, duBois is also the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the writer and writing instructor Teresa Miller back to our program. She founded the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers in the early 1990s, and around that same time she started hosting and producing a popular public-television interview show, Writing Out Loud. Her books include the novels "Remnants of Glory" and "Family Correspondence," as well as "Means of Transit," which is an autobiography.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with acclaimed playwright Lee Blessing, who's best known for his 1988 Tony-nominated play, "A Walk in the Woods." Back in January, he workshopped his most recent play, "The Hourglass Project," here at the University of Tulsa. It's a comedy, with interesting ethical overtones, about several elderly couples who, though an experimental procedure, regain their youth.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about Poetic Justice, an ongoing writing project for incarcerated women at the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center in Tulsa. This writing-workshop program began about 18 months ago and has been very popular from the outset. Our guest is Ellen Stackable, a high school English and World Studies teacher at the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, who directs the program and serves as one of its educators.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in March.) On this edition of ST, we speak with the writer J.C. Hallman, who was raised in Southern California, studied at the University of Pittsburgh and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now teaches at Oklahoma State University.

On this edition on StudioTulsa, we offer an entertaining and wide-ranging chat with Stacy Nyikos, an author, writing teacher, and on-the-go mom who lives in Bixby.

Every fall, thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month (or, if you like, "NaNoWriMo"), which happens each November, and which was founded by our guest today, a freelance writer and writing coach in the Bay Area named Chris Baty. Baty's program has helped countless people -- over the last 15 years or so -- finally write that elusive novel and/or get down a workable first draft of said novel to the tune of 50,000 words....

The day-long Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers -- presented each autumn by Nimrod International Journal here at the University of Tulsa -- will happen tomorrow, Saturday the 25th, in the Allen Chapman Activity Center on the TU campus. This conference offers workshops in fiction, poetry, memoir, and young adult fantasy, and "tips of the trade" from editors, literary agents, and the like.