It is a commonplace among Warren Wilson graduates that their best readers are other Warren Wilson alumni. With that thought in mind, we propose to extend to New England alumni peer-to-peer reading and response modeled on the work we do at the Alumni Conferences.
While many Warren Wilson graduates participate in informal networks of writers reading writers (including virtual networks), those alumni who are geographically close and would like to work with other alumni don’t necessarily know each other—a situation not surprising when we consider that writers move through the program and graduate decades earlier or later than peers in the same city. Writers graduating from Warren Wilson often wish they had more opportunities to work productively together— if only they could locate each other and organize workshops.
New England offers a special opportunity to leverage the connections established by its new reading series. Inaugurated in September 2014, the Unauthorized Eleanor Wilner Reading series draws a dedicated audience of alumni who want to contribute to Friends of Writers and connect in the context of their work. In a survey conducted after the first season of readings, alumni expressed an interest in having colleagues respond to their poetry, stories, novels and nonfiction in-progress.
We intend to introduce alumni to each other, organize working meetings and provide a malleable framework for reading and response.