Essayist, filmmaker named 2017-18 Distinguished Visiting Writers
Every year, two distinguished writers come to Cornell College to teach block-long advanced creative writing courses in topics not typically included in the standing curriculum. The Cornell College Center for the Literary Arts is excited to announce the Distinguished Visiting Writers for 2017-2018: essayist Kisha Schlegel and documentary filmmaker Richard Wiebe.
Award-winning essayist Kisha Schlegel will teach The Lyric Essay: Hit Me with Music. Residing between an essay and a poem, the lyric essay is a radical form of creative non-fiction. Its musicality allows writers to more deeply engage difficult issues, such as environmental degradation and social injustice. Students in her class will read and write lyric essays, consider the impact of music on prose, attend a live music performance, and compose a collaborative class “album” to be read at a public performance at the end of the block.
Schlegel’s chapbook, “Fear Icons,” is forthcoming from Essay Press, and her essays have been published in journals such as The Iowa Review, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, Seneca Review, and anthologized in book collections. She is the recipient of the Richard J. Margolis Award of the Blue Mountain Center, a Washington State Grant for artist projects, and an Iowa Arts Grant. Schlegel is assistant professor of English at Whitman College in Washington, where she teaches creative nonfiction and creative writing.
Cinematographer, director, editor, and sound designer Richard Wiebe will teach a course in DIY Documentary Production: Essaying in Cinema. Students in his course will explore essayistic models of documentary filmmaking such as the essay film, video essay, city symphony, and other hybrid genres, in which making art and making history are intertwined in productive tension. Through a variety of exercises, novices to filmmaking will acquire the skills and confidence to complete a documentary/essay film project on a topic of their choosing.
As cinema artist, Wiebe has created award-winning work that has screened at international film festivals in Chicago, Montreal, Barcelona, Zagreb, Cannes, Marseille, and elsewhere. His most recent video essay, “War Prayer,” received the John Johnston Award from the Princess Grace Foundation and a Jury Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Wiebe is a passionate arts activist: in Iowa City, he launched the Works-in-Progress Festival; in the Twin Cities, he is the experimental cinema programmer for the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival and co-curates screenings for Cellular Cinema at Bryant Lake Bowl. Wiebe teaches courses in sound design, screenwriting, and the art of the short at Hamline University, St. Paul, and the Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota.