Novelist Edie Meidav, a finalist for the Roy E. Disney Professorship in Creative Writing, visited Pomona’s campus Thursday as part of the English department’s interview process to fill the endowed faculty position.
In the morning, Meidav led a mock fiction writing workshop for a group of students, in which she guided a short writing exercise and critiqued two samples of student work. Professors from the English department sat in on the class to observe Meidav in action.
In the afternoon, Meidav gave a reading from her second novel, Crawl Space, and from her not-yet-published novel, tentatively titled Highway 5.
Meidav grew up in Berkeley, California, and attended Yale University for her undergraduate degree and Mills College for graduate school. She worked briefly as a story analyst in Los Angeles, lived in Sri Lanka for two years on a Fulbright scholarship, and completed Crawl Space while working out of a storage shed in Mendocino, California.
She received the Bard Fiction Prize for Writers Under 40 in 2005 and a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2007.
She taught fiction at the New School for Social Research and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing at Bard College.
Meidav said she is applying for a position at Pomona partly because of the college’s reputation, and partly because she has missed her home state. She added that she was getting a great impression of the college.
“It sort of seems too good to be true,” she said, adding that Pomona seems to work the way a college ideally should work. “I really sense this congeniality and respect and high level of engagement.”
Meidav said she strives to lead writing workshops that are “historic,” in that each student, on leaving the classroom, feels he or she has participated in an important moment in time.
“The professor [should be] on a road of discovery with the students,” she said.
The candidate chosen for the professorship will begin teaching courses in Fall 2009.