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Creative Writing Program Sponsors Two Public Workshops

The Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University is hosting two creative writing workshops in July as part of its summer residency. Both workshops are free to the public.

Archival Research for Writing

The program is partnering with the Oklahoma History Center for a workshop titled “Writer in the Archive” from 10 a.m. to noon July 13 at the center on N.W. 23rd Street and Laird Avenue, east of the State Capitol Building. The workshop will feature Red Earth faculty member Kat Meads, whose recent novel “For You, Madame Lenin” required extensive archival research.

Meads will speak about her research process and the serendipities of research that sparked her writer’s imagination. Following her presentation, Oklahoma History Center staff members will introduce participants to some of the resources available that writers in all genres may find useful.

Meads is an award-winning writer of fiction, drama, nonfiction and poetry. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry, a California Artist Fellowship in fiction and two Silicon Valley Arts Council fellowships.

The Oklahoma History Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the research library is a National Archives affiliate.

The Research Division of the Oklahoma Historical Society is the repository of books, archival materials and family research records about Oklahoma and its people. Since 1893 the collections have grown to 30 million pages of newspapers, 4 million documents on Indian history, 6,000 manuscript collections, 3 million photographs, 10,000 maps and vital statistics on families that range from U.S. Census records to cemetery and county records for most counties in the state.

Creative Writing Workshop for Adults

The Red Earth MFA will partner with the Ralph Ellison Library for a creative writing workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. July 15 in the library on N.E. 23rd Street and Eastern Avenue as part of the Ralph Ellison Centennial celebration.

The workshop will be taught by Red Earth MFA students and supervised by faculty member Quraysh Ali Lansana.

Lansana is the author of five poetry books, three textbooks, a children’s book, editor of eight anthologies and co-author of a book of pedagogy. He earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Creative Writing Program at New York University, where he was a departmental fellow and served as director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing from 2002 to 2011. His book “Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community” was published in March 2011 by Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee.

The Red Earth MFA is a low-residency creative-writing program. Students and faculty meet for 10-day residencies twice a year, then students complete their semesters at home and send their writing and other coursework to their faculty mentor. For more information visit the program's website at www.okcu.edu/english/redearthmfa.

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