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Poetry in Paradise: Last Chance. A Personal Note from Professor Kenney

July 27, 2012
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Dear Students,

Final notice. We still have places open for Fall term in Friday Harbor.

WHY COME?

1. The Marine Station: the place is to-die-for beautiful. It could pass for a summer camp. Beaches, forest, seascapes, etc. Boats. Row into town after dinner. Jog forest paths. Watch orcas. Duck eagles.

2. Creative Writing: this is the one place you can study it without being accepted into the Creative Writing track. No experience or “talent” is presumed. If you’re interested in applying to the Creative Writing Track, this is a perfect place to learn fast, refine your work, and improve your chances. If you’re already in the CW Track, no better place for it than Friday Harbor.

3. User-Friendly Science: the Marine Biology and Fish classes are open at the introductory level. Would you rather do science in the classroom or in the field? Imagine exploring tidal flats under the full moon. These classes are taught by distinguished scientists who love what they do, and want you to, too.

4. Student-Faculty Ratio: nowhere lower. Not in Honors, not in the Ivy League. This is a chance to work with people who know their stuff, under very personal conditions.

5. “Foreign Study” Without the Air Fare: the experience is intensive and potentially transformative in the way that foreign study can be, but it’s available close to home.

FALSE REASONS NOT TO COME:

1. It looks expensive. Wrong. The reason it looks expensive is that food— full board, three squares a day— is included in the advertised price. Dining hall is a 100 year old lodge with huge fireplace, piano, pool and ping-pong tables, French doors opening to a deck with picnic tables and a view of the water. Resident chef: the food is good. In fact, the program costs exactly what tuition, room and board would cost at the UW campus in Seattle.

2. I have to apply. Yes, but that will take fifteen minutes. Applications accepted through August.

3. It’s a scary gamble. Can’t help you there. That’s adventure for you.

CONCLUSION:

1. Make a few calls.

2. Apply.

3. Congratulations. You’ll make new friends and trade stories with them for the rest of your lives.

It’s up to you, now. I look forward to meeting those of you who step up. We’ll have a grand time next fall. Best of the summer to all, meanwhile.

Yours truly,

Richard Kenney

S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professor of Creative Writing

University of Washington

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