Literature & Writing: Camille Guthrie
Bennington Early College Program: Literature and Writing
The Scriptorium: Love
Taught by Camille Guthrie
10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-3:00 pm EST | August 9-13
Q&A with Camille Guthrie
What excites you about teaching The Scriptorium: Love?
Everyone is interested in love, and we will read astonishing work by some of the experts about love: Sappho, Shakespeare, Roland Barthes, Plato, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and bell hooks.
In the Scriptorium, we read to write, and write to read—a practice of reading, discussion, free-writing, and revision. It's engaging to discuss and respond to these texts—and learn how to craft persuasive critical writing—with the methods I use in this class. Also, I always learn something new myself about the readings.
I hope that [students] will learn to let go of their anxieties about critical writing and explore their ideas with creativity and energy.
What do you hope students will gain from this course?
I hope that they will fall in love with at least one of the authors; I hope that they will learn to let go of their anxieties about critical writing and explore their ideas with creativity and energy; I hope that they will gain some useful skills and strategies to do a close reading of a text, to structure an essay, and to build confidence in their writing.
What are you reading right now?
Over the pandemic year, I read a lot of novels and short stories by Octavia Butler, whose work is phenomenal and prescient to our situation. This summer I am immersed in reading everything by Alice Munro, the Nobel prize-winning writer, whose work I hadn't read before. I cannot get enough of her stunning short stories, which teach me everything about writing. And, I am gobbling up the heartbreaking and funny novels of Miriam Toews, another Canadian writer.
What publications have you had recently?
My new book of poems, Diamonds, is coming out this fall from BOA Editions. Here is one of the poems in that collection: "Serious Moonlight," a tribute to David Bowie. This is what Cathy Park Hong (the author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning and Engine Empire) said about it: “Camille Guthrie’s Diamonds is a glorious feminist midlife scream, screed, and ode to the ‘paradoxes and oxymorons’ of a divorced mother’s struggles. With the dark formal wit of Philip Larkin and cutting rage of Sylvia Plath, Guthrie goes there, with hilarious piss and vinegar, on the Sisyphean defeats of an academic stranded; a mother burdened; a consumerist broke; a woman who’s had enough. Plundering the wisdom from Shakespeare, Keats, and Butler, along with the wisdom of online flotsam, Guthrie creates a fresh ribald collection that is all too relatable and unputdownable.”
About the Bennington Early College Program
The Bennington Early College Program is a suite of one-credit online courses for high school, gap year, and college students. Programs are offered in Literature and Writing, Social and Environmental Justice, and Politics, Power, and Society.
Bennington Early College Program course fees are refundable for students who later apply to Bennington's undergraduate program.