Quantá Holden, Duke English, Digital Communication Specialist
Professor Mesha Maren-Hogan’s English 110S, “Introduction to Creative Writing,” class had the pleasure of having poet Remica Bingham-Risher join them on October 7, 2020. Bingham-Risher is the author of three poetry collections and winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She has also been published in the New York Times and the Writer’s Chronicle. Remica Bingham-Risher is from Phoenix, Arizona, and is an alumna of Old Dominion University and Bennington College. She is the Director of Quality Enhancement Plan Initiatives at her alma mater Old Dominion University.
Before Bingham-Risher’s visit, Professor Maren-Hogan’s class read the poem “Junior Bee v. Sweet Dee” from Bingham-Risher’s book Starlight and Error. The upbeat and inspiring Remica Bingham-Risher shared some of her insight into writing and provided tips for the students to use with their own work.
Members of Professor Maren-Hogan’s class had the opportunity to ask Remica Bingham-Risher questions about her writing style, inspiration, and other elements that influence her literary works. One of Professor Maren-Hogan’s students, Nicole Park, Class of 2023, took advantage of this opportunity to ask, “What is your process for writing poetry? Do you have it all planned in your head, or is there a sense of spontaneity as you write; regarding the formatting, subject, point of view, etc.?”
“What is your process for writing poetry? Do you have it all planned in your head, or is there a sense of spontaneity as you write; regarding the formatting, subject, point of view, etc.?”
“I tell my students to read ten times more than they write”
Near the conclusion of her visit with the English 110S class, Bingham-Risher provided the students with a poetry writing exercise; she requested they complete the activity and share their work with her before the end of the semester. For this writing exercise, she provided the class with access to a series of images and instructed them to select the one that spoke to them the most. Once they chose an image, they then were instructed to write a draft, then step away from the draft for a few days if possible, and then come back to their writing and utilize the revision elements included in the exercise to enhance their work.
Both the students and Bingham-Risher enjoyed this opportunity to meet and interact. Bingham-Risher and an earlier visit from author Jaquira Diaz have been beneficial to the “Introduction to Creative Writing” experience. Professor Maren-Hogan’s class might not have had the privilege of this experience if she had not been the recipient of a David L. Paletz Grants, which helped make this series possible.
The third and final installment of the David L. Paletz Creative Writing Guest Series will be tomorrow, October 21, 2020, at 5:15 pm. Author Ashleigh Bryant-Parker will join Professor Maren-Hogan’s English 110S, “Introduction to Creative Writing” class. This installment will be available via livestream at Duke English Department Facebook Live.
Ashleigh Bryant Phillips October 21, 2020 5:15 pm
Author of Sleepovers and winner of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Award. Her short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, The Oxford American, and other literary journals.
Remica Bingham-Risher October 7, 2020 5:15 pm
Jaquíra Díaz September 2, 2020 2:00 pm