• The Creative Writing Programs

  • West Egg Literati

    Summer 2012
    The View From West Egg

    Dear CWP Students,

    It’s with some sadness that I write my first letter to you as President of West Egg Literati. Jenny McDougal, our former president, has graduated from Hamline University and as such can no longer be a part of the West Egg Literati in an official capacity. Jenny passed West Egg lovingly to me, and I’d like to take this opportunity to describe what West Egg is and where it is going.

    West Egg is firstly a literary reference to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, to those upstart romantics on the West Egg: the Nick Carraways, the Jay Gatsbys, and the nouveau riche—those who pursue impossible dreams to stunning (though hopefully less tragic) conclusions. In that tradition, we try to get out of our spacious mansions and into the arts community of the Twin Cities. We hold classy parties. We frequent social clubs. We take in the local cinema. We’re all about town being fancy.

    We exist to be your gateway to the Twin Cities arts community, and to be a connection between each of you. As long as there are students in Hamline’s CWP House, there will be a West Egg to connect us. Over the summer, expect some of the following events:

    1.     Expect the Fanciest Get-Togethers at W.A. Frost—In the tradition of the Friendlies of yesteryear (and because we’re insanely jealous of our friends at Water~Stone Review), we get together every Third Thursday of the month to be out and about. Over the summertime, the glorious patio at W.A. Frost is open, and that’s where you will find couches full of West-Eggers underneath the blooming lights and among the crackling fireplaces.

    2.     Expect to never go Reading Alone Again—At West Egg, we don’t believe any student should go reading alone. If your work is up to read somewhere in the Twin Cities, tell us, and we’ll put the word out. If possible, we’ll even read with you in solidarity, and we’ll always be there with a round of applause for you. Listen for a holler when your name is called. That’s us

    3.     Expect the Classiest Parties—When the occasion calls for a fancy party, West Eggers are eager to host. West Egg parties are many things to many people, but one thing that they are to all people is: classy. You have enough excuses to stay in your mansion: a good episode of that TV show you like, cranky kids , and work tomorrow.  We’re your excuse to go out.  Take it.  Expect Someone to Read Your Work—We hope to offer a kind ear and an incisive eye to your work. Got some poetry you’d like to have looked at? We know someone who’d like to help you. We’ll be setting up critique groups throughout the summer exclusively for Hamline CWP graduate students on the basis of “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours.”  Because sometimes you have a particularly itchy back, and we aim to be your calamine lotion.

    I’ll have more to tell you when the semester starts about rock, paper, scissors (our premier graduate publication), upcoming workshop series, and a million other reasons for you to leave your mansion and venture out into the world.

    Cheers,
    Benjamin J. Kowalsky I
    President and CEO, West Egg Literati

    _______________________________________________________________________

  • The View From West Egg Archives

    SPRING 2012

    On behalf of our President, Jenny McDougal

    West Egg Literati is the graduate student group of the Creative Writing Programs and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program. Everyone in the MALS and MFA programs is automatically a member, but how involved you are is up to you.

    West Egg is for the students; we want to do what you want to do. As new students enter the program and old students graduate, West Egg changes.

    Here’s what we’ve been cooking:

    In the fall, we published the sixth edition of rock, paper, scissors, a literary annual completely edited and designed by students in various stages of the MFA program. The issue was designed by Stephen Mcpherson, a current MFA student here at CWP. It features a simple brown cover with bold graphics and possibly the first ever cover bound with actual metal bolts. You’ll have to see it to believe it. Check out copies at the CWP house. 

    Oh the times, oh the customs. We’ve had parties and get-togethers this year. We’ve even started a weekly Happy Hour at Sweeney’s Saloon over the Fall in 2011.

    There’s also a fantastic House Blend Salon series held at the CWP house on the 3rd Thursday of every month where we try to foster the community between MFA, MFAC, BFA, MALS, and other students in our writing community. There have been cozy fireside chats, basement brouhahas at the Turf Club, and haunted holiday parties at the“CWP Poetry House."

    Next season’s rock, paper, scissors is going to be curated by Jordan Wiklund. So send him an email to congratulate him and get involved with the production of our pride and joy. As surprising as it is, our parties are not our shining jewels; they may not even constitute out highest moments as artists or as people. Editor and designer positions are available, so put yourself out there and become a part of history.

    West Egg is still going strong and we’re still here to maintain the CWP as a true community for artists at all stages of their craft. Get involved, come out, and make yourself unforgettable—in a good way.

    So in that spirit, Please join your fellow students for the annual spring meeting of our student-group. All students are encouraged to come. We’ll catch up on old times, meet new students, and discuss plans for the coming semester--all while enjoying free coffee and pastries. This is our chance to decide what we want to accomplish with this semester and school year. We will surely discuss rock,paper,scissors but past that, West Egg’s agenda is up to you

    Past years, we’ve put on readings, activity days with faculty, costume parties, and panel discussion but we’re open to any new ideas that will help build a sense of community in Hamline’s GLS program.

    Annual Spring Meeting:

    When: Sunday, March 18th; 2:00-4:00
    Where: Bush Memorial Library, Room 205

    Email us at westegg@hamlineuniversity.edu with your ideas. 

    Spring 2011

    An update from new West Egg Literati President, Jenny McDougal

    West Egg Literati is the student group of the Graduate School of Liberal Studies. Everyone in the MALS and MFA programs is automatically a member, but how involved you are is up to you. West Egg is for the students; we want to do what you want to do.  As new students enter the program and old students graduate, West Egg changes. Here’s an update on what we were up to during the 2010/11 academic year:

    In the fall, we published the fifth edition of rock, paper, scissors, a literary annual completely edited and designed by students in various stages of the MFA program. This issue might have been the most attractive yet—simple vellum bands holding together loose-leaf copies of the beautiful poems, short stories, and essays submitted by students—and if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, check out a copy at the GLS house.

    Besides publications, we’ve mostly just been partying. We helped throw the Gatsby Party for incoming students, celebrated the launch of rock, paper, scissors at the Turf Club in Saint Paul, and gave readings around a campfire and during the worst blizzard of the year. We even went to the greatest literary party of them all, the AWP Conference, this year in Washington, D.C. (where we received lots of compliments on our lit mag). West Egg’s only permanent goal is to foster community between and among students, so we feel like all the fun wasn’t frivolous, but really on point.

    That said, we’d love to see more people use West Egg as a chance to build contacts, gain experience, and have fun. In the coming months we are planning future events and getting ready to produce the next issue of rock, paper, scissors. If you haven't already emailed our new editor in chief, Stephanie Olson, to let her know you're interested in joining a section jury or the design team, she would love to hear from you. This year's editorial team is a great one, and the sixth edition of our one-of-a-kind literary journal will be dynamite.

    Next year, we hope to have even more opportunities to build community with new students and those in all stages of the program. The great thing about West Egg is that it reinvents itself every year depending on what the group would like to do, so if you have an event or a knock-out idea, let us know. If you would like to take on a leadership role in West Egg, we have plenty of responsibilities available for differing levels of involvement.

     

    Fall 2010

    Letter from Julia Jenson, 

    Editor-in-Chief of
    rock, paper, scissors

    This fourth issue of rock, paper, scissors is the same as the first three issues and the pilot before it.

    It is the same – boasting, for all to see, the unique talent of the students in Hamline University’s MALS and MFA programs.  It is the same – you can gift each piece of writing separately, as a sheet of creation and art to anyone that you, reader, would like. Or keep it neatly together, the pages becoming a little more worn, the pieces you love the most with coffee stains, pencil and fingerprints, each time you read it.  

    This fourth issue of rock, paper, scissors is completely unique – set apart from the first three issues and the pilot before it.

    Its uniqueness lies in the names printed on the pages, new students using this publication for an entry into the publishing world. Students on the brink of thesis or graduation publishing what may be their final piece in the haven of our community – this last labor of love before they leave Hamline for the next phase of their literary lives. Its uniqueness lies in the individuals who chose these pieces, challenging themselves and their board members to select the pieces that fit the best together and represented the finest of each genre. It is set apart by the section editors and designer, who bring their collective experiences together to make this whole.

    As you gently slide off the bellybands that keep these pieces together and read them – whether it is all in one sitting or bit by bit, savoring it like a square of chocolate, notice the scent of fruit and flowers, the music that haunts this issue, like remorse about the living and the dead.
    I am humbled to sit in the company of so many wonderful, energetic, and completely unique writers and hope that as you read this fourth issue of rock, paper, scissors, you will seek out the beauty in your everyday life that these writers bring to mine.

    Julia Jenson
    Editor-in-Chief, rock, paper, scissors 2010 

    Spring/Summer 2010

    In the spirit of new ventures, allow us to (re)introduce ourselves...

    Who: West Egg Literati ("West Egg" for short).

    What: A collective of current GLS students who get together to plan and enjoy activities related to the greater literary world --- open mics, readings, panels, workshops, and social events.

    Why: Because sometimes it's difficult to get to know your colleagues when you only see them once a week in class.

    When: Activities happen a few times a semester or as often as participants are interested.

    Where: Coffee shops & classrooms, bars & backyards, parks & pubs.

    What else: Producers and publishers of rock, paper, scissors, a literary annual showcasing the work of GLS students. r,p,s is known for its strong, often experimental content and unbound pages.

    What's more: rock, paper, scissors launched in fall of 2006 and publishes only work by GLS students.

  • News

    The Hamline CWP is proud to award the T.A. Barron Award to Meg Cannistra and the Jane Resh Thomas Prize to Kate Heberlein. Congratulations!

    Jun 23 2014

    Inspired By

    Countless students and writers have been influenced by Hamline CWP professor and poet Katrina Vandenberg. Among those inspired by her writing is young adult writer and The Fault in Our Stars author John Green.

    New on The CWP Youtube channel -- videos from the BFA Senior Reading. May 15, 2014. Congratulations, graduates!