Lamb Visits UWG
When referring to his "mission" as a teacher, author Wally Lamb explains
that his job is "to ignite fires in the eyeballs of undergraduates
and then stand back and watch the learning happen." Instructors in
the First-Year Writing Program, active participants in the Shared
Text Lecture Series, share this mission as they teach Lamb's Couldn't
Keep It to Myself in English 1101 and She's Come Undone
in English 1102.
In Couldn't Keep It To Myself, Lamb introduces his readers
to a group of women at York Correctional Institution who, through
the process of writing, "let down their guard, picked up their pens,
and discovered their voices." In short nonfiction narratives, these
women describe abuse, rejection, and neglect and also demonstrate
their abilities to come to terms with these events and begin anew
the process of constructing their lives. In She's Come Undone,
Lamb details the similar fictional life of Dolores Price, a young
woman who has undergone abuse, abandonment, and pain on many levels
and who, in the end, finds a way to "undo" some of the bad by realizing
that "Love [for herself and for others] is like breathing. You take
it in and let it out" (462).
On Thursday, October 23, Lamb brought together these two powerful
and intricately intertwined texts for two sessions at the Townsend
Center for Performing Arts--one at 11:00 a.m. and one at 8:00 p.m.
This free event allowed 1101 and 1102 students, as well as others,
an excellent opportunity to experience the full intended effect of
the Shared Text Lecture Series--to allow the intellectual and emotional
exchange between writer and student that demonstrates, as no other
experience can, practical and artistic benefits inherent in the study
of effective writing.
Lamb also met with both students and faculty interested in creative
writing in the conference room in the Dean's offices in the College
of Arts and Sciences at 2:30 p.m. on the afternoon of his visit. During
that session aspiring writers were able to ask questions about Lamb's
career, which includes two appearances on Oprah Winfrey's book club,
and his own creative process as well as to seek his informal advice
about their work.
Students from 1101 and 1102 with outstanding essay submissions accompanied
Lamb to lunch at Pearl's Café in downtown Carrollton, and members
of the Advanced Academy treated the visiting author to dinner at Z-6.
Students from the Advanced Academy also introduced Lamb at each of
his readings in the Townsend Center.
Lamb's visit was made possible through generous support provided by
the Honors College and the Advanced Academy of Georgia, the College
of Arts and Sciences, the EXCEL Center, the vice presidents for Student
Services and Academic Affairs, and the English Department. The success
of the event was due in large measure to the generosity of these supporters
and to the hard work and planning of Patricia Reinhard and Brandy
James, co-directors of First-Year Writing, who arranged and executed