Oct. 30, 2017 – On Thursday, October 26, Dr. Aaron Tillman spoke to the Newbury Community as part of the Fall President’s Speaker Series. He read an excerpt from his recently published collection of short stories, Every Single Bone in My Brain followed by a discussion of his work and writing career.
Students, faculty and staff gathered in AC119, listening and laughing as Dr. Tillman read his story ‘High Holy Days.’
Throughout the event, Dr. Tillman elaborated on his writing experience, gave advice to those who want to write and answered questions about his book. On writing, he said, “There’s no singular way; no singular method. You have to identify what works for you…even if that process is a little chaotic or sporadic. Writing is generative. When you write, even if you have nothing in mind, things come from it.”
Dr. Tillman is an Associate Professor of English at Newbury as well as Director of the Honors Program. He teaches classes in the School of Arts and Sciences, including Creative Writing, one of his favorites. Additionally, Dr. Tillman is one of the professors for the first-year Foundations of Liberal Arts course.
Dr. Tillman spoke to the importance of multidisciplinary learning during the President’s Speaker Series. He said: “Opening yourself up to all disciplines and all experiences is extremely valuable and writing allows you to do that. I’ve had to learn something about everything I’ve written.” Tillman has researched sociology, biology, geography, theology, and more to be able to be exact and accurate in his stories.
He also explained that learning new and different subjects can drive writers to create something new. He said, “We don’t know what we don’t know. You don’t know what’s going to inspire the next piece.”
At the end of the event, Dr. Tillman answered questions from faculty, staff and students. He discussed his writing process, the experience of revising and refining his stories, how he works with publishers and where he draws inspiration from. Tillman said, “It has a lot to do with observation and wondering about certain things, seeing how far they can go. It’s a lot of curiosity more than anything. Human existence is fascinating and mysterious.”
Tillman joined the Newbury Community in 2010. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Hobart College, his Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island. Every Single Bone in my Brain is available for purchase here.
About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.
Contact: Sarah Johansson, Communications Coordinator
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