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Sharman Apt Russell
P.O. Box 303
Gila, NM 88038
I am available to travel as a visiting writer for readings, classroom visits, and workshops.
My Teaching Philosophy
My teaching philosophy is simple: my goal is to encourage and support a writer’s own authority. To that end, I can serve as an editor and help writers better revise their work. I can model and teach how to talk about writing. I can help writers feel more centered in who they are as writers and why they write. And I can do these things across a range of ages and abilities.
Writing is such a dynamic process. Writing is a way of thinking and feeling more deeply. Writing is action—neurons firing, synapses snapping. Writing dislodges things in the mind. Writing sets things adrift. Writing makes new connections. Writing brings together ideas and sparks new ideas.
Writing is not transcription. Most of us don’t have some answer which we then copy onto the page. We are not pedagogues. We are explorers. We write out of a question, a blank spot on the map, and the process of writing leads us to an answer and, as often as not, to more questions. Another blank spot on the map. Another journey.
My goal as a teacher is to be part of that journey and that discovery.
For some thirty years now, I have taught graduate and undergraduate classes at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, as well as mentoring in the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles for the last fifteen years. I have also worked with teens and middle-school ages in classroom visits and writing workshops.
Recent guest appearances:
Visiting writer and reader, Honors in Interdisciplinary Arts and Senior Reflection programs, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, 2014
Keynote Speaker, North American Butterfly Association Festival, Mission, TX, 2014
Visiting writer and reader, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, Wilderness: the Storied Past, the Troubled Future, Missoula, MT, 2014
Speaker, Gila River Festival, Silver City, NM 2013, 2014
Speaker, Southwest Festival of the Written Word, Silver City, NM 2013
Keynote Speaker, Quaker Regional Meeting, Silver City, NM, 2013
Keynote Speaker, Ministry of Writing Colloquium, Earlham School of Religion, IN, 2012
Speaker, University of Penn State Reading Series, PA, 2012
Speaker, Coastal Wildscapes, St. Catherines Island, GA, 2011
Speaker, Weber Pathways, Ogden, UT, 2010