Sunday, April 10, 2011

Home from Indiana

I'm back from two lovely, lovely days at the Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University, my home for the 2011-12 academic year. That's it, above, the beautiful place where I'll be writing and working all next year.

I visited during their fourth annual Undergraduate Ethics Symposium. For the last two years I led the "creative" seminar at the symposium where students share poetry, plays, short stories, documentaries, and artwork illustrating various ethical themes; I also gave a talk each year, one year on "Artistic Integrity" and the other year on "Divine Love and Moral Arbitrariness." This year I was simply a very happy guest, soaking up the faculty talks as an appreciative audience member and marveling at the creativity of the students.

This year, as every year, the three faculty talks were wonderfully diverse in content, disciplinary approach, and style of presentation. I heard a talk on "Understanding Hate Crimes from the Perspective of the Injured" by philosopher Alison Bailey, a talk on "The Case of the Dorm Room Drug Dealer" by A. Rafik Mohamed, and a talk on the making of the post-Katrina documentary "The Old Man and the Storm" by journalist June Cross. Student work included a professional-quality documentary on racial identity in post-genocide Rwanda, a cycle of poems by "a queer woman of color" performed for us outside in the late afternoon around a fire circle, and a short story set during China's Cultural Revolution.

Pretty simulating, huh?

And I did find time to curl up in the peaceful Prindle library to write the final chapter, Chapter 40, of my book. I so love writing important chapters in significant places. So now I have a full draft done of my longest and perhaps most complex book ever. Plus a sonnet written at the airport and a sonnet written on the plane, and two books read, and a drink with a very dear friend at Greencastle's charming little bar, The Swizzle Stick.

To quote Annie from the Broadway musical: "I think I'm going to like it here."


  1. What a beautiful place to live and work, Claudia! The architecture looks very Frank Lloyd Wright-ish to me and earthy. Congratulations on writing that final chapter in such a lovely and significant place.

  2. Beautiful setting. Already so green. I'm sure you'll love it there.

  3. Wow, Claudia! What a gorgeous place. I predict you're going to have an exciting, uplifting adventure there. Also, I'm intrigued about your new novel. I can't wait to read it!

  4. I love that you wrote your final chapter in the library there. I think it bodes very well for next year…