What is Soundings? We can best get close to the heart of what Soundings is about by asking what it is meant to encompass and hold, much as Puget Sound informs and holds an enormous portion of the Pacific Northwest, where Pacific Lutheran University and the Rainier Writing Workshop (RWW) are located. The Soundings website is an unusual hybrid, functioning as the home of a program journal called Soundings, as well as an online community site, communication tool, and repository for current and archival academic materials for RWW participants, faculty and alumni.
Soundings, the magazine is a craft-driven journal of essays, profiles and interviews, publication listings and announcements of interest to the entire Rainier Writing Workshop community. It is published tri-quarterly (Fall/Winter, Spring, Summer) and is an independent creation of student editors of RWW.
Soundings, the website, is an informational site that provides both public and private facing content about the Rainier Writing Workshop, including linkage to the official Pacific Lutheran University webpage, application instructions, and the RWW Facebook page. The website also houses necessary academic materials that can be accessed by RWW participants, alums, and faculty during the year and at the summer Residency. The site is also a repository for archived issues of Soundings the magazine, as well as participant/faculty accessible archives containing graduate thesis Critical Papers and Outside Experience Reports.
Soundings is designed to be an ongoing celebration of the writerly wisdom and work of the RWW community and a gateway by which prospective applicants can sense the attitude and character of a low-residency MFA program that differs substantively from any other in the nation. To describe that difference we would be obliged to use language not usually applied to an academic program. Words like community, culture, family and friendship. Soundings is our connective tissue; a stratum of affinity meant to bridge the thousands of miles and long months that separate the writers associated with the program–a heap of bits and bytes and lines of code whose purpose is to create a kind of digital proximity meant to bind us as we strive in our individual but kindred pursuits of living, learning and, most of all, writing.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to peruse the history, staff, and back issues of Soundings the magazine. To receive more information about the RWW program, click HERE.