My Salt students are graduating! And you’re invited to come see/hear/watch/read their incredible work:
Maine Stories by Salt Fall 2012 Graduates in Writing + Radio + Photography + Multimedia
[ DECEMBER 13, 2012 - FEBRUARY 8, 2013 ]
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, December 13 // 5-8pm
After fifteen weeks of hard work, tinder celebrates the work of our fall 2012 class with an exhibition of powerful and intimate Maine stories. Join us on December 13th for a grand opening reception, open house and virtual story telling extravaganza. The building will be bursting at the seams with readings of the written word, radio listening, and photography + multimedia viewings by the following students. You won’t want to miss it!
But if you do… the exhibit will be up through February 8, 2013 for 1st Fridays and during regular gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-4:30 at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, 561 Congress Street, Portland, Maine
OUR TALENTED NEW MEDIA MAKERS: Penn Chan * Chloé Crettien * Kerry Ensinger * Chris J Gauthier * Shannon Geis * Brian Gersten * Barton Girdwood * Gabe Grabin * Julia Lowrie Henderson * Lauren Lamont * Manda Lillie * Mika McGinnis * Jessica Miller * Kristin Moe * Kelsey Padgett * Elise Pepple * Kimmee Poole * Thalassa Raasch * Katie Ricciardi * Sofia Saldanha * Kelly Shetron * Heidi Sistare * Laine Zimmerman*
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies is a non-profit school in Portland, Maine, offering semester intensive programs in documentary writing, radio, and photography, and all with an additional focus on powerful and responsible storytelling, collaboration and multimedia work in a variety of mediums.*
Quo Vadimus: “Where are we going?”
Last week, one misty morning in Maine, my husband, the dogs and I hopped into our car and drove up the coast, all the way to Brooklin, in search of the saltwater farm and former home of the great American writer, E.B. White. It was quite an adventure, and it wasn’t easy. The White house is unmarked, had not been turned into a museum, and is now occupied by new, unrelated owners. White had always been a private and aloof man. For instance, in the New Yorker, he published a series of essays under the dateline “Allen Cove,” a designation that appears only on nautical maps. That way, said White, no one will be able to find [me] except by sailboat and using a chart.
But still, we found it. Here’s a tiny taste of our incredible trip:
“It’s late September and my husband and I are walking down a plain gravel path towards the cedar shake writing shed of someone who hasn’t invited us: Elwyn Brooks White, better known to some as the late, great essayist E.B. White, and to those who still don’t know, the man who wrote the classic children’s books ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘Stuart Little.’ With each step away from the old brown barn and closer to the shed, we see living relics from White’s world: a lush emerald garden. An old chicken chopping block. A tall apple tree doubling as a raccoon lookout tower. The sterling pond, large brown geese skirting its brim. And then, as if the shed was just a shed, the writer’s studio appears.”
Want to find out what happens next? Rather than physically go to E.B. White’s former home (which is now a private residence now, which we should respect), why not tune into WRITERS’ HOUSES and pay your respects to the wonderful person and author, E.B. White. Founded in July 2010 by A. N. Devers, Writers’ Houses is a phenomenal online publication dedicated to the exploring writers’ spaces and art of literary pilgrimage.
Ten years ago, I stepped foot into a place that would change me forever.
It was a legitimate school, even though it felt like it was too good to be true. The mission of the place: nurture and challenge students to become powerful and responsible storytellers. Find the extraordinary in the ordinary is what they told us.
The name of the school: The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. It was the place that told me, “Yes, Mira. That fire burning inside of you? Sure, it’s idealistic. But it is important. What you want to do–storytelling/journalism/anthropology/creative writing/whatever you want to call it–it’s a passion we want you to nurture. We will help you nurture it, and if you try hard and care enough, it’s something that you can actually do for a living. It’s vital.”
Ten years later, I’m still doing it.
Also, ten years later, on the eve of Salt’s 40th anniversary, I have been asked to return to Salt. This time, to teach what I know. That’s right! It’s a dream come true to announce that I’m the new 2012-2013 writing instructor
at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. An honor, really.