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Introducing Spartanburg's, Newest Writer, Poet, and Programmer!

September 27, 2018 | Features

Written by Andrew Dally | Hub City Writers Project Writer-in-Residence

Hey Sparkle City! 

Andrew here, the Hub City Writers Project’s newest Writer-in-Residence, and I’m commandeering this Chapman Cultural Center broadcast to explain who I am and why you should probably be friends with me this fall. 

What’s a Hub City Writers Project Writer-in-Residence?

If you’re the kind of person who’s reading this blog—a Cultural person, a Centered person—you already know something about the Hub City Writers Project. You know, for example, that they run one of the best bookstores in the South and publish some of the most exciting new Southern literature around. You know that they host more events than even folks as Cultural and Centered as you and I could hope to attend.

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What you might not know is that HCWP keeps a beautiful cottage just a few blocks away, where every fall and spring they welcome a new emerging writer to hunker down and make art. In addition to the ample time and space a resident is given to dedicate to their craft, they’re offered the chance to try on all the hats that the industrious HCWP staff are wearing on a weekly basis—the hat of the editor, the bookseller, event organizer, active community member, etc. It’s like five residencies wrapped up into one, so residents like myself feel five times luckier than residents in other less Sparkly burgs. 

Who’s Andrew and what’s he doing here?

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I’m Andrew, a poet, programmer, and collector of hats headed to y’all from Oxford, MS, where for the last two years I co-edited an incredible literary journal and helped curate a local reading series. I’m excited to continue to grow these skills at HCWP, and even more excited to be working with the New Prospect Elementary School to expose fourth and fifth grade students to poetry. While in Spartanburg, I’ll be working on my first book of poems. It’s about McDonald's, Bashō, artificial intelligence, and dogs. Speaking of the latter, my pup, Frankie, is moving to Sparkle City, too. She’s a prototypical “good dog,” and you’ll like her almost as much as you’ll like Alison, my partner, who’s also along for the ride. One of the great things about the HCWP residency is that they welcome family, pets and even artistic collaborators. It’s a very socially minded program. Unlike many residencies that hole writers up in remote locales to brood and bash their heads against keyboards, HCWP positions the writer (me!) as an active and engaged member of a literary and local community, which is precisely where you come in.

Why should you be my friend? 

I’m of a very unintimidating size and build. Like the Weather Channel or those amiable ponies that follow racehorses, I’m known to exude a certain calming presence. I was born with these weirdly big pupils, which make me look like a good listener, and this appearance has, over the years, turned me into a pretty good listener. If you have a hobby, I’d love you to share it with me. Here in Oxford, friends are teaching me to sing and play tennis. I like the outside, and your town has a lot of it. I’ll trade my book recommendations for your advice about the best hikes and swimming holes—watering holes, too. 

Here, I’ll start: Summer’s almost over, so give up on that big novel you wanted to read and grab a novella instead. It’s fewer pages and less pressure, yet the word itself sounds so Cultural—novella. Try any in translation by César Aira. If you like zombies, try his Dinner. Into ghosts? Try Ghosts. If these genres don’t strike you as literary enough, try The Literary Conference. Don’t like any of these? That’s great—friendship is all about disagreement. And forgiveness, I think. I don’t know. Let’s work it out. Where would you like to meet? I’m new here.
 

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