Bartos Institute Fellows ShareTalent, Insight
Posted 11/10/2014 12:03PM
Courtney Martin

Four distinguished guests with expertise in journalism, publishing, and story-telling will join the campus community this month as Bartos Institute Fellows. The fellows will facilitate workshops, visit classes, give presentations, and work with students individually and in small groups. In addition, each fellow will offer a half-day hands-on workshop on a photography project called Inside/Out that will be open to the whole community.

"We want to expose students to innovators and experts in a variety of fields," says Bartos Institute Director Naomi Swinton '89. "At the same time, we can share our beautiful campus and provide respite and innovation to scholars who are doing good things in the world."

The guests, who will be on campus from Nov. 19 – Dec. 3, are:

Author Mary Austin Speaker, whose work includes Ceremony, winner of the 2012 Slope Editions book prize; The Bridge; 20 Love Poems for 10 Months; and a collaborative play, written with her husband, poet Chris Martin. She edited the Indiana Review and co-founded the Triptych poetry reading series in New York City. Mary also designs books for HarperCollins, Milkweed Editions, Alice James, The Song Cave, University of Iowa Press and others. She has taught at Indiana University, the Iowa Young Writers program, Kirkwood Community College and at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. Her new poems have appeared in Boston Review, Jubilat, Forklift Ohio, Matter Monthly and elsewhere, and her critical work can be found in Pleiades and Painted Bride Quarterly. She lives in Minneapolis.

John Cary, a writer, speaker, curator, and connector focused on design for the public good. The founding editor of, he is the author of The Power of Pro Bono. His writing has been published in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Fast Company, and on, among other publications. John is a strategic advisor to the $1 million TED Prize, an advisor to Aspen Global Health & Development, and an advisor to Possible Health in rural Nepal.

Chris Martin, who is the author of two books of poetry, Becoming Weather and American Music, which was selected by C. D. Wright for the Hayden Carruth Award. His poems have been performed by dancers, musicians, filmmakers, and guerrilla readers in the Minneapolis Skyways. In 2009, the Poetry Society of America recognized him as one of their biannual New American Poets. In 2014, he was a writer-in-resident at the Minnesota History Center's Gale Library. After editing one of the first online poetry journals, Puppy Flowers, for its entire 10-year run, he is now an editor at Futurepoem books.

Courtney E. Martin, who is the author of five books, including Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women. She is Editor Emeritus at, Founding Director of the Solutions Journalism Network, and Partner at Valenti Martin Media, a social media strategy firm. Her work has recently appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and MORE Magazine, among other national publications. Courtney has appeared on the "Today Show," "Good Morning America," MSNBC, and "The O'Reilly Factor." She speaks widely on millenials' re-imagining success and social change. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Centre. She is a strategist for the TED Prize. Read more about her work at

Schedule of public events:

  • Saturday, Nov. 22, noon to 2 p.m., IT Center: Workshop with Chris Martin on "Poetry as Social Art." The session focuses on reading and writing that emphasizes the inherently social aspects of poetry, with special attention given to translation and collaboration. Participants will get a chance to analyze, but also to write their own poetry, and/or raps and participate in a reading the following week.
  • Sunday, Nov. 23, noon to 2 p.m., IT Center: Workshop with Mary Austin Speaker on "Documentary Through Poetry and Photography." Participants will examine poetry and photography as acts of witnessing, of providing a vessel for another's voice, and the ethical implications of writing within an art or poetry context free from editorial advisement.
  • Sunday, Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m., Auditorium: Poetry Panel with Chris Martin, Mary Speaker and Jimmy Santiago Baca
  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m., IT Center: Workshop with Courtney Martin on "Global Youth Journalism." Award-winning journalist Courtney E. Martin will lead participants through the basic structure of an op-ed, plus some pro tips on how to get published.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 25, 6:30 p.m., Student Center (Castle): Discussion on TED, social innovation, and design
  • Tuesday, Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m., location to be determined: Community reading

The events are free, but we ask you to RSVP to Bartos Institute Director Naomi Swinton to reserve a space.

Meet Mzwakithi Shongwe, '12, who came to UWC-USA from Swaziland.


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