Nick Barker Writers in Residence
During her time at Covenant, Anne Doe was a poetry student of the late Dr. Nicholas Barker. More than two decades later, Anne Doe-Overstreet '88 and her husband, Jeffrey, are headed back to Covenant College to teach a creative writing class in Dr. Barker’s honor, as Nick Barker Writers in Residence.
“Dr. Barker’s class came at the right time for me, to give me a little direction not just in what I might do with my life but in how I process things,” said Anne. “Because of that class, writing—and poetry in particular—has become one of my spiritual practices. It asks me to be still and to pay attention. It was invaluable for me and so I’m thrilled to participate in something in his name.”
Anne graduated from Covenant with a degree in history. Her husband, Jeffrey, earned his degree in English literature from Seattle Pacific University.
Jeffrey and Anne come to Covenant from Seattle, WA, where writing is a grounding force in their lives. Jeffrey works as a communications specialist at Seattle Pacific and is the contributing editor for Response magazine. He has written and published Through a Screen Darkly, a memoir reflecting on his then-15 years as a film critic, and The Auralia Thread, a four-novel fantasy series. Anne works as a freelance editor, and is a poet. She has published one book of poetry, Delicate Machinery Suspended, and her poems have been featured in a variety of publications, including the Asheville Poetry Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Mirror Northwest’s Contemporary Poetry, and more.
Anne and Jeffrey will teach Creative Writing: Fiction over two weeks during the 2013 fall semester.
October 14-18, 2013
Creative Writing: Fiction class
October 16, 2013
11:00 a.m. Jeffrey Overstreet, Chapel
7:00 p.m. Literary reading, Caudle Room
November 14-16, 2013
Creative Writing: Fiction class
November 16, 2013
7:00 p.m. Student Literary Reading, Caudle Room
Although Anne and Jeffrey have taught workshops individually, this is the first class they will teach as a couple. They hope to bring both Jeffrey’s experience as a novelist and Anne’s creative process as a poet together in a rich marriage of fiction writing and poetic attentiveness.
“My writing has benefited immensely from what I’ve learned from watching Anne’s work as a poet and by learning how to slow down and pay attention,” said Jeffrey. “This is a chance to pass along some of that. Fiction and poetry are not the same things, but I think a lot of the problems in contemporary fiction stem from a lack of lived experience inside the concentration of poetry—learning to think poetically, and the powerful association that words and images have.”
Jeffrey and Anne will encourage fiction writers to bring a “poetic attention” to their work—to learn from the music, language, associations, and point-of-view in poetry. They also want to leave students with a toolkit that will help them continue to work on and develop their writing.
The Nick Barker Writer in Residence program began when an anonymous Covenant alumnus generously gave to the College to honor the late Dr. Nick Barker, former professor of English and vice president for academic affairs. The grant has previously brought Billy Collins, Leslie Leyland Fields, and Robert Siegel to Covenant’s campus. Now maintained by the College, the Nick Barker Writer in Residence Program continues to bring talented men and women to Covenant's campus as visiting instructors and speakers.
The views expressed by Covenant-sponsored speakers and other college guests do not necessarily represent the views of Covenant College or its constituencies.