July 17, 2015
Author interested in 'alternate reality' elements of fiction
By Cindi Deutschman-Ruiz
Writer and educator Christian Moody joins CIA’s Liberal Arts faculty this fall as an assistant professor of English and creative writing. The widely published author will feel right at home teaching students of art and design, since he views writing as an art form.
Moody is “a phenomenal writer,” said Christopher Whittey, vice president of faculty affairs and chief academic officer. “He joins an already top-notch Liberal Arts faculty, and we all look forward to his arrival."
A long-time and widely published writer, Moody earned his MFA at Syracuse University and his PhD from the University of Cincinnati. His work has appeared in a broad range of literary journals that includes Esquire, The Cincinnati Review, Faultline, The Collagist and Sonora Review, among others. His stories have also been anthologized in the collections Best New American Voices and Best American Fantasy.
Moody describes his own work as “toward the [stranger] end of fiction, where they take place in a world that has maybe small magical elements to it, or a sci fi element.”
When Moody read the job description for this position, he immediately saw how well CIA would suit him. The college was “looking for someone well versed in popular writing. They mentioned sci fi and fantasy writing. It just seemed perfect, that they wanted someone who was interested in these weird, alternate reality genres that I really like to work in and to read in.”
Perhaps even more significant to his appointment at CIA is that Moody thinks of himself foremost as a creative person, an artist. “So being part of a community where people are talking about how to make things, to make art, sounded like a dream to me,” he said.
That CIA is located in Cleveland was another perk, according to Moody.
“I was looking for a job in a place where I felt I could settle down, a place where my daughter would grow up and also want to live. The cultural institutions here are great, with lots of museums and the orchestra, and the architecture is great. And with this vibrancy, it’s also an affordable city, a livable city. I feel really, really lucky,” Moody said.
With CIA’s students, Moody said he plans to emphasize that writing is an act of creation, and in some sense also a design process, with all the planning and experimentation that design involves. “When I think about asking students to make a piece of writing, I think, We’re going to make something, an essay, a story—how are we going to do that?”
Moody says his overarching goal is to help CIA students become good storytellers, communicators and public intellectuals, which is how he sees writers generally. “They create their work and get known for their work, and then people ask them as artists to talk about art, about why creativity matters, about why art matters.”
In addition, “I also think providing students with the skills to be public intellectuals is going to help their careers and help the overall goals of the school.”
And, if along the way, the school also grows “its reputation as a place where really good storytellers and communicators graduate,” that will be another of Moody’s major goals attained.
Cindi Deutschman-Ruiz is a freelance writer/editor and instructor of journalism and mass communication. She lives on the West Side of Cleveland.
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