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Creative Writing Institute to benefit students during the summer
By Julie D. Villarreal, Public Affairs I
316-7192
Posted: 05/12/2003
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The University of Texas-Pan American English Department will host a Creative Writing Institute June 9-13.

The Writing Institute – which will include workshops in poetry, fiction writing, non-fiction writing and other special topics – will feature three professional writers: Denise Chavez, Dr. René Saldaña and Dr. Steven Schneider.

“The purpose (of the institute) is to provide quality instruction from professional writers in creative writing to undergraduate and graduate students at UTPA,” said Schneider, who is chair of the UTPA English Department. “We hope to provide access to writing workshops for public school teachers and members of the community, and a rich cultural and literary experience for the UTPA community and the Rio Grande Valley.”

Teachers will receive graduate course credit, learn ways to teach creative writing, and become exposed to different genres of writing. They will also have the opportunity for faculty to review their work in individualized sessions.

During the week there will be afternoon panel discussions on publishing, Rio Grande Valley writers and a faculty reading on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Media Theatre. Chavez will also give a reading of her work on Thursday, June 12 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre, which will be free and open to the public.

Chávez is a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama from New Mexico State University in 1971, a Master of Fine Arts in drama from Trinity University in 1974 and a Master of Arts degree in creative writing from the University of New Mexico in 1984. A novelist, short story writer, playwright, actress and teacher, Chávez has presented readings and workshops across the country. She is the author of The Last of the Menu Girls, Face of an Angel and Loving Pedro Infante.

Saldaña teaches creative writing and literature at UT Pan American. He is an author of various books including The Jumping Tree, Finding Our Way and is currently working on his next novel.

Schneider is both a poet and critic. He is the author of five books, including Prairie Air Show, a collection of poems, a critical study titled A.R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope. His poems and journals have appeared in many journals such as The Literary Review and The Beloit Journal. He is the recipient of a Merit Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council.

For registration or more information about the Creative Writing Institute call 956/381-3421.