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  • Writer's pictureGinger Teppner

To what or whom are you a referent?


I came to teaching late, explaining time, spent seeking, away by saying I was trying to find, first my purpose and then, my students.

My first rhetorical instinct is to compare this to my emergence as a writer, but I was ever, in some small way, exploring the larger truth: that I was always a writer. What I wasn’t was a published writer.

I came to publishing late, explaining time, spent seeking, away by saying I was trying to find, first my voice and then, my audience.

To the first point, I think my students called me forth, as I was calling to them, and purpose was born.

This leads me to the second point,

My audience is small. It consists almost entirely of a few dear friends that I write to and for, but it has grown ever so slightly in relation to my kinship with other writers and artists. I believe we are called to each other.

I often remark on the synchronicity that brings diverse yet simultaneously like-minded thinkers to my workshops and those I co-curate with Andrew Helton and the beauty of the spaces we build together. But I no longer get surprised. I trust now that we called them forth, these amazing people, as they were calling us.

All this to say, what I learned this summer (among many other wondrous possibilities) is that I no longer care about the size of my audience, as long as I can connect with those that happen upon my words in the spaces that we build together.

Some of you can imagine and understand my profound relief to embody these beliefs:

As I am an educator, there will be students.

As I am a writer, there will be an audience.

So, if you happen upon something I write that moves you, please share it with someone you think may appreciate it. That is all.

And watch this space for our next workshop iteration.



Referent: Cynosure in Psychogeography Summer Residency ALN 2022

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