Centre College professor named 2014 Bernheim Writer-in-Residence
Christian Moody, visiting assistant professor of English and creative writing at Centre College, has been named a 2014 Bernheim Writer-in-Residence. The competitive residency aims to connect people with nature through poetry and literature and is co-sponsored by Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Sarabande Books and The Baltic Writing Residency. The residency is part of Bernheim’s Arts in Nature program, which promotes exploration of our relationship with the natural environment through artistic expression.
Every summer, two writers are selected to live and work in Bernheim Forest, an idyllic 14,000-acre nature preserve, just 60 miles from Centre’s campus. In addition to Moody, writer and illustrator Margaret Kimball from Lesley University in Boston has also been chosen.
Recipients spend two weeks writing in Bernheim’s pristine woods and gardens, and they also host a public reading and gallery show. Moody plans to work on several short stories, drawing from the natural setting for inspiration.
“My stories tend to have mythical, fabulist, nature elements in them,” he explains. “The arboretum and research forest setting is particularly apt for my collection-in-progress because the stories are all set in forested landscapes and depict strange forms of nature, nature gone awry and unusual intersections of the natural and human worlds.”
Martha Slaughter, visual arts coordinator and director of the program at Bernheim, knew from reading Moody’s stories that he would make an ideal writer-in-residence.
“So much of his work is about forests transforming people,” she explains. “We wanted him to experience Bernheim, and hope the residency will have an impact on him.
“We are also thrilled to have the connection with Centre,” Slaughter adds. “We’re big fans.”
Moody has also won an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, which awards $7,500 to Kentucky artists who have achieved a high level of excellence and creativity in their work. His fiction has appeared in such publications as Best New American Voices, Best American Fantasy, Esquire, The Cincinnati Review and The Collagist.
Learn more about the Bernheim Writer-in-Residence program here.
by Caitlan Cole
Photo credit: Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest