MFA, author of Elders: A Novel (Hogarth/Random House). Mr. McIlvain’s stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, Potomac Review, Chattahoochee Review, Post Road, The Rumpus, and FiveChapters, among others. A former Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, his second novel is forthcoming from Hogarth/Random House.
I do my damndest to make reading and writing fun, daring, life-giving, inspiring activities. The two are inextricably and joyfully linked, by the way: a writer is a reader moved to emulation, as Saul Bellow said so well. It’s my job to illuminate the texts we’ll study, helping my students see what’s worked for other writers and helping them imagine what new paths their own voices and experiences could forge. My writing assignments put close reading into practice, focusing on the craft of dialogue, say, after studying Ernest Hemingway’s classic story in dialogue “Hills Like White Elephants.” When my students workshop, they learn to apply this same careful, loving eye to each other’s writing, and the reading-writing symbiosis continues. Reading as a kind of pre-writing, writing as a daring and bold post-reading—that’s the goal.
Our Students Say it Best!
“Ryan possesses intelligence, insight and talent. He’s well-read, inspiring and generous in his feedback (compliments and critique). He really shapes the class into something special.” – Writers’ Program Student
Instructor Website: Click here to go to Ryan’s website.