Banner Photo: The Port Townsend Writers' Workshop allows writers to "connect with one another on a deeper level."
Idaho MFA Alum Invigorates Premier Artist Center
Jordan Hartt (MFA ’09) has landed a dream job for anyone committed to supporting the arts. As Director of Programs at Centrum, a Port Townsend, WA artists center, Jordan is a key teammate in making this organization a premier venue for artists and creative thinkers.
Many writers know Centrum through the popular Port Townsend Writers' Workshop, a major contributor to the robust Northwest literary scene. When asked why the workshop is so prosperous, Jordan noted, “I think the location of Port Townsend and Fort Worden State Park inspires writers to create new work as well as connect with one another on a deeper level. There is a lowering of defenses that happens here. People are free to be themselves and write honest, true work.”
Jordan began work at Centrum shortly after earning his MFA. The transition from school to profession went smoothly. “The faculty and MFA students at the University of Idaho were committed to writing at the highest, truest level,” Jordan said. “The work was rigorous; the energy was infectious. I also read as much as I could get my hands on. Empathy, understanding, and rigorous devotion to literary craft inform all of our workshops at the Port Townsend Writers' Conference.”
As a former MFA student, Jordan is a proponent of the highly successful partnership between Centrum and the University of Idaho MFA Program. Each summer, one outstanding writer from the program attends the Writers’ Workshop free of charge as a Centrum Fellow – thanks in part to a generous donation.
“Our fellowship partnerships with nationally ranked colleges and universities allow us to bring exceptionally talented emerging voices together with established masters for a week of intensive writing,” said Jordan, “and because the students are coming from programs all over the country, it's a place for them to meet one another.”
Jordan last visited the Idaho campus in November for the HooPalousa basketball game. Wholly committed to raising funds for the American Indian Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing, Jordan donned jersey #37 for the Moscow SuperSonnets, and risked life and limb to play hoops with other literary legends, including Sherman Alexie, Jess Walters and Shann Ray Ferch. Jordan’s literary journal, Conversations Across Borders, also committed funds to the fellowship.
For more information about Centrum and the Port Townsend Writers' Workshop, please visit: http://www.centrum.org/writing