John Rowell

Art Discipline: 
Baltimore, MD
United States
Dates of Residence: 
Jul 2, 2007 to Jul 27, 2007

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 1979-1983 BA in Dramatic Art, and Radio, Television and Motion Pictures; Spring, 1983; Creative Writing workshops with Max Steele and Daphne Athas; Writer's Voice - West Side Y, New York City, 1995-97 Fiction workshops with James Wilcox, Wesley Gibson; 92nd Street Y Poetry Center, New York City, 1996-2001 Fiction workshops with Jonathan Dee, Benjamin Taylor, and Joshua Henkin; Bennington Writing Seminars, Bennington College, VT, 2001-2003 June, 2003 Graduate of the MFA Creative Writing Program; Instructors: 2001-2002: Jill McCorkle, Susan Cheever, Alice Mattison, April Bernard; 2002-2003: Amy Hempel, Sheila Kohler, Askold Melnyczuk

"I will be working on one of my books-in-progress. Overachieversis a coming-of-age novel told in two sections; the first section is set in the South of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the second takes place in New York during the 1980s and early 1990s. Section One, entitled "Li'l Bucko," (North Carolina, 1969-1983), follows the early life of a young man named Bowman Ragsdale, who is North Carolina-born and bred, but who dreams of eventually moving to New York and becoming a Broadway actor and stage star The second half of the novel, entitled "Bowman of Manhattan" (New York, 1983-1999), picks up Bowman's life at the age of twenty-one, in which this former child star, of sorts, who has already experienced the highs and lows of fame (however briefly and of local variety) finally moves to the Manhattan, circa 1983.

The other project is entitled Prep School Diaries: A Baltimore Story, about a gay man in his late thirties who leaves his life of a writer and theater critic in New York to take a job teaching English and drama at a prestigious all-boys prep school in Baltimore. Partly based on my own experience and also deeply influenced by my lifelong love of novels about prep schools, colleges and teachers (Pictures From An Institution, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Up The Down Staircase, et. al.,) I intend it to be a comedy of manners, with serious overtones, with a nod to the wonderful novels cited above.