MFA, MM, and fiction writer whose short fiction has appeared in American Literary Review, The New England Review, and New American Writing, among others. Mr. Wyatt is the author of Listening to Mozart (winner of the John Simmons Award), and the novella The Spirit Autobiography of S. N. Jones. His collection of short fiction, Swan of Tuonela, was published by Hanging Loose Press, and his poetry collection, Goldberg-Variations, was the winner of the 2014 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series Competition.
Since my background is that of a symphony musician, it’s not surprising that I have begun to think of the process of writing and reading as a kind of performance. We come to writing with the same urge to express ourselves as a musician has to be heard. The difference (and this is good news, really), is that it is perfectible. Our words are not lost in the air like music—we can revise and improve our written work. In my classes, we learn how to get the first words to flow. Then with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, a carpenter’s patience, or all of those things together, we begin to learn how to revise. Is it work or play? They say writers work and musicians play. From my own experience, I can tell you that musicians work and that writers can play. So we alternately work and play—each student strives to produce the story, chapter, or passage that only he or she could have written. How do you get those first words, then? Here’s my story. I became a fiction writer when my grandmother asked me why the hen house window was broken. “A chicken flew through the window.” Why did the chicken fly through the window? “It was trying to get away from the dog.” Why was the dog in the chicken house? As I groped for an answer that wouldn’t get me in trouble, I was beginning to learn how narrative works.
Our Students Say it Best!
“Charles gave immediate and incredibly helpful feedback. He was kind, supportive and highly observant. Always interested and always present.” —Writers’ Program student
Instructor Website: Click here to leave our website and go to Charles’ website.