Faculty News

Literature & Writing: Marie Mockett

Meet faculty member Marie Mockett, who is teaching Nonfiction: Serious Noticing: How to Turn What We See into What We Write as part of the Bennington Early College Program

Image of Marie MockettBennington Early College Program: Literature and Writing 
Nonfiction: Serious Noticing: How to Turn What We See into What We Write
Taught by Marie Mockett
Tuesdays 6:00-8:00 pm EST | November 9, 16, 30, and December 7



Q&A with Marie Mockett

What excites you about teaching Nonfiction: Serious Noticing: How to Turn What We See into What We Write?

Writing may be the most democratic art form. You don't need very much in the way of material to produce a finished piece of writing—just some pen and paper, or perhaps a computer with your document software of choice. You do not need paints, or an easel, or expensive camera equipment. You don't need actors, lighting designers or a soundtrack. You get my point.

Likewise, you can read good writing anywhere in the world. You do not need to travel to the equivalent of the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa of novels; you just need a book or perhaps a Kindle. Writing and reading are very simple, but one of the elements that leads to excellent work is the quality of mind of the writer. What you think shapes your work, but what you notice in the moment and what you are able to convey to your readers as a result may be the thing that makes writing powerful, personal, and long lasting.

Our class will examine what it means to notice the world well and what it subsequently means to translate keen perception into finished writing. I think that is exciting. 

"What you are able to convey to your readers [...] makes writing powerful, personal, and long lasting

What do you hope students will gain from this course?

You know, the world can feel somewhat precarious at present. Is it safe to travel? Is it safe to go anywhere? I don't really know what the rules of the world are going to be month to month, but I do know that you can always write what you are seeing and experiencing, and that your writing can matter and have a lasting impact. I hope that this course empowers writers to feel that even now, with so much uncertainty, they can feel good about the work they are doing and feel that their writing is relevant. Because it is!

What are you reading right now?

A mix of nonfiction that is informing my future projects, and a few novels here and there. I'm reading Umberto Eco's Travels in Hyperreality, and lots of history of California.

What publications have you had recently?

I recently won the Northern California Book Award for General Nonfiction. That was very nice.

This review of my book in The Believer was kind of a high.

Do you have any pets?

Two cats! The white one is Calican, and the black and white one is Sir Meows a Lot. My son named them both. We originally only wanted one cat, but Calican, who was only four weeks old, meowed very loudly at the humane society, and once she was let out of the cage for a "test run" with my son, there was no way we were going home without her. They are both very active and loving cats.

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.