Vinnie Wilhelm from Oakland, CA will be teaching our middle school creative writers. Because Vinnie is so excited to come to Sitka, I asked him to write a few words expressing his anticipation. Here’s what he had to say:
“The life of a young fiction writer is rarely glamorous, but it really does feel like a luxury to come up to Sitka this June. I’ve worked for the last five summers at a camp for high school writers in Iowa, and it’s always been a regenerative experience for me. The enthusiasm of the kids, their energy, and the originality of their ideas have helped to remind me each year what making art is all about. Sometimes one can lose track out here amid the terrors and confusions of the world. But in spite of the attendant difficulties, I feel incredibly fortunate to have a life organized around sitting down to write every day, and nothing reinforces my excitement like the opportunity to share it with kids who are smart and awesome and psyched to be creative. After five years I felt the time had come for me to move from the Iowa gig, so the chance to be at Fine Arts Camp is perfect. The interdisciplinary approach seems very cool; I think it will be fascinating to hang out with faculty and students working in so many different mediums. Maybe I’m snobby, but I tend to like artists better than other people. Plus, Alaska is the only state I’ve never been to, and I’ve been sitting on forty-nine for almost ten years. So I’m really looking forward to camp, and I hope everyone else is too.”
We’re looking forward to meeting him, and to helping him achieve his goal of visiting all 50 states! Here’s Vinnie’s bio:
Vinnie Wilhelm is a graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he studied with the novelists Marilynne Robinson, Ethan Canin, Edward Carey, and Chris Offutt. Vinnie’s short fiction has been published in the Harvard Review, the Southern Review,Glimmertrain Stories, and elsewhere; his book reviews have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. He has taught fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writing to both high school and college students, in addition to working as an editor, busboy, deliveryman, political organizer, bureaucratic peon, peanut vendor, house painter, radio journalist, and carny. He currently lives in Oakland, California, where he is waiting tables and writing a novel which he believes to be about Leon Trotsky, Hollywood, and the mob in Cuba.