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May 9, 2011


Cathie Pelletier, the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s first Waneta Blake Visiting Professor of Writing, will teach two, three-credit courses during UMFK’s 2011 summer sessions.

Ms. Pelletier will teach Writing Workshop II during the first summer session, May 16 to June 24.  The course will be held Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m.  She also will conduct a three-credit workshop: Stories in the Community, during the second summer session, scheduled between July 5 and August 12.
Pelletier is a 1976 alumna of UMFK.
The visiting professorship is designed to bring noteworthy writers and scholars to UMFK to work with students through courses, workshops, and seminars.  And Pelletier plans to add to this by inviting some of her fellow writers to visit the class.
"In our previous workshop,” she says, “we did exercises to develop character, dialogue and setting.  But we also discussed well-known poems and stories in an attempt to learn more about the lives of famous writers.  That helps connect today's student, growing up in a world of instant technology, to the great traditions of the past. That’s why I often try to engage as many other writers as possible."
Visitors to the class will be Professor Ardis Cameron, who will discuss the life of Grace Metalious and her novel, Peyton Place; singer/songwriter Dave Mallet and Canadian novelist Deborah Joy Corey. Maine’s newest Poet Laureate, Wesley McNair, will “visit” the classroom via Skype to read his poems to the students.
Pelletier says the class is open to avid readers who wish to learn more about writing, and also to Valley residents who may one day write their life stories for family members.
"It's about the craft of writing and how we can do a better job in capturing our thoughts on paper, even if to write a better letter," she says. "When Dave Mallet discusses how he finds character in his songs, that’s something a writer of any genre can identify with.” 
For her Stories in the Community class, in which students will conduct assigned interviews from St. John Valley residents, Pelletier has selected the themes: Christmas in Fort Kent: The Early Years; In Common Ground: Graveyards of the St. John Valley; and Weddings of the St. John Valley.  
The topics for this workshop are the subjects of books Pelletier plans to publish for Northern Maine Books, a small company she has formed to record and preserve local history. Class participants will help gather information and photos on the subjects to be included in the books and then work toward polishing the interviews for publication. 
Generous donors have made possible scholarships for students taking one of Ms. Pelletier’s classes for credit. The scholarships may cover up to the full amount of tuition for the course. Some restrictions may apply. For further information, please call the UMFK University Relations office at 834-7558.
For further information on registering for Cathie Pelletier’s classes, call the UMFK Registrar’s Office at 834-7520, or register online at: