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00:00:03 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: This is an oral history interview with David Garrison being conducted by Linda Beattie for the Kentucky Writers Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Garrison provides a description of his early life, which was spent in Asheville, North Carolina. The lives of his grandparents and parents are also outlined.

Keywords: Asheville (N.C.); Biological grandfathers; Biological parents; Caretakers; Carpenters; Family; Farm schools; North Carolina; Rayon plants; Sheriffs; Uncles

Subjects: Adoption; Adoptive parents; American authors; Childhood; Children; Diabetes; Early life; Families.; Farmer; Grandfather; Grandparents; Minister; Mother; Occupations; Summer; Teachers

00:04:50 - Childhood

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Partial Transcript: What was your childhood like?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison explains what his childhood was like in Asheville, North Carolina. The most important institutions in his life during this time, as well as the possible influence of Thomas Wolfe upon the interviewee's work and life are explored.

Keywords: Asheville (N.C.); Choirs; Colleges; Elementary schools; Isolated; Neighborhoods; Quiet; Thomas Wolfe; Valley

Subjects: Adoptive parents; Books; Buildings; Childhood; Church; Father; Grandfather; Institutions; Life; Methodist church; Mother; Mountains; Rural; School; Student

00:09:06 - School / start of writing

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Partial Transcript: Um, what about school? You talked about school being an influence, strongly because of your mother.

Segment Synopsis: Garrison recalls his time in elementary and middle school respectively. Additionally, Garrison talks of when he began to write pieces of fiction, as well as baseball write-ups and box scores.

Keywords: Asheville (N.C.); Box scores; Elementary schools; Friends; Lawn mowing; Neatness; Neighbors; New worlds; Public library; Reader's Digest; Schools; Semicolons; The New Yorker

Subjects: Adoptive parents; Baseball; Carbon paper; Education; Fiction; Guitar; Life; Mother; Radio; Reading; Short stories; Sports illustrated; Success; Teacher; World Series (Baseball); Writing

00:14:47 - High school

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Partial Transcript: Um, what about high school? What was that like for you?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison reflects upon his high school experience, including when he participated in the Governor's School of North Carolina summer program.

Keywords: A.C. Reynolds High School; Asheville (N.C.); County schools; Ernest Hemingway; Governor's School of North Carolina; Integration; Macbeth; Ralph Ellison; The Sound and the Fury; William Faulkner

Subjects: Baseball; Education; High school; Literature; Professors; Summer; Teacher

00:18:02 - College

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Partial Transcript: Um, did you go to college right after high school?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison chronicles his college years, (at both UNC Asheville and Appalachian State) including what he studied, and notable professors during this time.

Keywords: Appalachian State University; Asheville (N.C.); Colleges; Core curriculum; Department chairs; Elementary education; Final exams; Lectures; Majors; Reading skills; Romantic literature; Scholars; Seminars; Survey of literature; Texas; University of North Carolina at Asheville; World literature

Subjects: American authors; Bachelor of arts degree; Chemistry; Childhood; Education; Education, Higher; Energy; English; Higher education; Humanities; Influences; Life; Literature; Poetry; Professor; Professors; Transfer; Undergraduate; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:26:45 - Graduate school

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Partial Transcript: And then what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison outlines his time spent at graduate school at Baylor University, pursuing a master's degree in English.

Keywords: Applications; Baylor University; Britain; Connections; Graduate schools; M.A. Program; Master's degrees; Thesis; Waco (Tex.)

Subjects: American authors; Courses and lectures; Education; Graduate school; Ideology; Literature; Order; People; Professor; Reputation; Teaching; Theme

00:30:04 - PhD

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Partial Transcript: After meeting some people at Baylor, and making some decisions about what to do next...

Segment Synopsis: Garrison talks of the process of obtaining a PhD in English from the University of Minnesota. An overview of Garrison's dissertation is also included.

Keywords: Baylor University; Composition; Dissertations; Friends; John Keats; Kentucky Philological Association; Lawrence Lipking; PhD; Presentations; Robert Lowell; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Scholars; St. Paul (Minn.); Study; Teaching assistants; University of Minnesota; Waco (Tex.)

Subjects: Administration; Article; Careers; Education; Education, Higher; Higher education; Life; Medievalists; Mentor; Money; Poetry; Poets; Romanticism; Teaching; Weather

00:36:49 - Teaching

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Partial Transcript: Uh, was this experience at the University of Minnesota your first teaching experience as well, or were, were you doing that at Baylor?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison illustrates when his teaching career at the collegiate level began, along with the various institutions that he has taught at.

Keywords: Baylor University; Books; Cognitive development; Composition; Courses; Grading systems; Issues; Living; Private schools; Spalding University; University of Minnesota

Subjects: Education; Essays; Professor; Teachers; Teaching; Writing

00:40:14 - Marriages / life after PhD

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Partial Transcript: Uh, were you single when you moved there? Did you marry?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison talks of the two marriages that he has had. Then, Garrison discusses his life following the completion of his PhD in English.

Keywords: Appalachian State University; Augsburg College; Baylor University; Boston University; Colleges; Composition; Ex-wife; Louisville (Ky.); Majors; Minnesota; North Carolina; PhD; Pianists; Piano performances; Second marriages; Spalding University; Swedish; University of Kentucky; University of Louisville; University of Minnesota

Subjects: Architecture; Children; Death; English; Families.; Father; Furniture; High school; Interviews; Job offers; Lecturers; Life; Literature; Marriage; Music theory; Son; Stepchildren; Student; Travel; Undergraduate

00:49:44 - Spalding University

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Partial Transcript: Well, first of all, what would your--what were you hired to do at Spalding, and how have you found it?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison describes the tasks that he was expected to do at Spalding University. Garrison mainly taught English courses, organized the university's writing center, and also worked in an administrative capacity.

Keywords: Campus; Community; Faculty; Intellectual; Location; Majors; Minors; Politics; Spalding University; Writing centers; Writing courses; Writing programs

Subjects: Administration; Catholics; Dean; Education; Education, Higher; English; Higher education; Middle class; Poetry; Professor; Provost; Students; Teachers; Teaching; Values; Work; Working class; Writing

00:54:55 - Teaching creative writing / poetry

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Partial Transcript: Have you taught creative writing yourself?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison specifies how he thinks creative writing should be taught at the collegiate level. Subsequently, Garrison discusses his poetry and why he has written more of it lately than in previous years.

Keywords: Baylor University; Form; Minnesota; Problems; Projects; Published; Revision; Sporadic; Tension; Writer's groups

Subjects: Art; Authors.; Creative writing; Desire; Education; Emotions; Experience; Graduate school; Language; Learning; Manuscripts; Marriage; Poems; Poet; Poetry; Reading; Stability; Students; Teaching; Voice; Writing

01:02:58 - Routine / audience

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Partial Transcript: When do you do most of your writing?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison's routine as a writer is explored, including his writing schedule and the value of student feedback and how it is used in the interviewee's writing. Then, Garrison's views on how he writes to his potential audience are examined.

Keywords: Assignments; Audiences; Connection; Ideas; Prose; Sylvia Plath; Words; Yvor Winters

Subjects: Authors.; Creative writing; Culture; Etymology; Language; Morning; Non-fiction; Poems; Readers; Students; Work; Writing

01:07:31 - Quote from poem / place in work

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Partial Transcript: Um, in your poem "Dominion," you write...

Segment Synopsis: Garrison interprets a quote from his poem entitled "Dominion." Next, the interviewee talks of the importance of landscape, setting, and place in his work.

Keywords: Absence; Asia; Class; Different; Flat; Image; Internal; Ireland; Landscape; Locations; Lost; Minnesota; New Brunswick (Canada); Pace of life; Place; Quotes; Robert Penn Warren; Speaker; Texas; Wisconsin

Subjects: Adoption; Authors.; Mother; Mountains; New England; Observation; People; Place attachment; Poetry; Sadness; Self; Setting (Literature); Values; Writing

01:14:25 - Goal of poetry / published work

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Partial Transcript: To you, what is the most important to achieve in your poetry?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison considers what the ultimate goal of his poetry is exactly. Following this, Garrison lists several of the literary journals that his poetry has been published in throughout the years.

Keywords: Colleges; Complex; Editors; Explore; Interests; Northwest Review; Oregon; Published; Southern Humanities Review; Thinking; University of Houston; Writers

Subjects: Authors.; Journals; Metaphor; Poems; Poetry; Publications; Publishers and publishing.; Subconsciousness; Work; Writing

01:20:08 - Writing projects / other genres

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Partial Transcript: Do you have future wro--writing projects in mind?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison outlines several upcoming writing projects that he is working on. The interviewee also considers which writing genres he would potentially like to experiment with.

Keywords: Aesthetics; Artistic; Charles Wright; Form; Genres; Midwest Quarterly; Mona Simpson; Nineteenth century literature; Novels; Projects; Short fiction; Stories; Study; William Blake

Subjects: Article; Authors.; Landscape; Language; Life; Literature; Manuscripts; Plot; Poems; Time; Work; Writing

01:25:56 - Nature of creativity / importance of writing

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Partial Transcript: That brings up a question that I have asked most authors I've interviewed about the nature of creativity. What you might think--where does it come from?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison gives his opinion on what the nature of creativity is. The importance of writing in relation to creativity, and also to Garrison personally are deliberated.

Keywords: Answers; Connections; Creativity; Depression; Dissertations; Explanations; Exploring; Focus; Jim Baker Hall; Jim Wayne Miller; Judgement; Leon Driskell; Moods; Robert Penn Warren; Variety; Versatility; William Blake

Subjects: American authors; Authors.; Children; Fresh; Parent; Rhythm; Risk; Writing

01:35:25 - Impact of his job on his writing / sharing writing / other careers

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Partial Transcript: Do you find--of course you're teaching as well as administrating. Um, generally do you find that those things drain you?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison describes the impact of his work at Spalding University on his writing. Garrison then reveals if he shares his writing to anyone before submitting it to publishers. Lastly, the interviewee lists other possible career paths he has considered throughout the years.

Keywords: Conversations; Creativity; Draining; Kathleen Driskell; Louisville (Ky.); Opinions; Responses; Scott Nearing; Spalding University; Styles

Subjects: Administration; Authors.; Baseball; Careers; Education; Friend; Honesty; Language; Life; Manuscripts; Money; Poems; Problems; Professor; Students; Teaching; Trust; Value; Work; Writing

01:41:46 - Influences / musical line / wife

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Partial Transcript: What haven't we discussed that's important to know about you, as a person, as a writer, as an educator?

Segment Synopsis: Garrison lists the most important influences upon his writing. How Garrison writes what he terms a "musical line" in his poetry is also explored. The reaction of Garrison's wife to his work, as well as her art interests are examined.

Keywords: "Exploit the page"; Artistry; Charles Wright; Collectors; John Prine; Josef Sudek; Musical line; Patterns; Prose; Readings; Revisions; The Beatles; Tom Waits; Visual; Wife; William Stafford; Writers

Subjects: American authors; Art; Authors.; Blues (Music); Comprehension; Energy; Folk music; Influences; Integrity; Interest; Language; Life; Music; People; Poetry; Poets; Reader; Sounds; Teacher; Values; Work; Writing