Festival of Faith and Writing–Day 3

Sorry this is a day late, but reasons will be explained below.

Yesterday was the third and final day of the Festival and it was the only day I actually had to attend panels all day. The first thing I did was attend a panel on “The Tensions of Style and Voice” by prolific writer and Poet Laureate of North Dakota Larry Woiwode. Sounds like pretty heavy stuff, but it was really just him talking about how he injects his own personal voice into his writing and then there was a short Q&A. Pretty interesting stuff, overall.

After lunch, I went to a 2-person panel moderated by a Calvin English professor that involved television bloggers and editors Nikki Stafford and Jana Reiss. They discussed the rise of faith in modern television and what it’s like being on the cutting edge of television scholarship.

It was a great panel, but something that motivated me to speak up was that they almost exclusively focused on modern network and HBO dramas like Game of Thrones, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. Don’t get me wrong, those are all fine shows, but I felt prompted to ask, “What about Community?”

Well, Stafford just lit up at that and I prompted her to talk about how great Community and Modern Familyare and how they’re leading us into a golden age of comedy. After the panel ended, I went up, talked to her, and we got along fine. She even agreed to let me email her some samples from this blog.

So that was exciting.

Then the last panel I went to, with a couple of friends, was on the joys of having a writing group to belong to. The interesting thing was, not only was the panel all women writers, they were also all pastors. Interesting viewpoint, that.

So that was the last panel I attended. After dinner, I killed time until 7:30 when I met up with my friends and we attended the final plenary, which featured critically lauded African writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose talk was titled “The Magic and Craft of Fiction.” Despite starting 15 minutes late, it was still a very enjoyable talk.

The final highlight of the evening was going to the last event of the festival, a concert by independent folk musician Josh Garrels. 

I had never heard of him, but I got a ticket for free when I bought a ticket to see Bruce Cockburn. I thought, “Well, I don’t know who this guy is, and I don’t want to go alone,” so I paid $5 for another ticket and asked my friend Adri to go. She had never heard of him either but…this guy was good.

It’s been 24 hours, and I still can’t articulate just what kind of performer Garrels is. He sings with a distinctive Southern accent, but what he plays is not country music, but more like the explicitly Christian Bon Iver. It was a remarkable concert, and he is a remarkable performer.

After that, Adri and I went back to the basement of her dorm and watched the phenomenal anime Code Geass until around 2:30 in the morning. It was pretty awesome, and seeing as how I’m almost finished with the 2nd and so far final season of the show, so expect a full write-up soon.

And this concludes my coverage of the 2012 Festival of Faith and Writing. I hope you liked me writing about it as much as I liked going to it.



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