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Back to School Update

Wow, school has already started again…


Well, welcome back to school.  Welcome back to Austin.  Welcome back to a community of writers.  A lot of things happened over the summer.  For one, there is a significant line-up change for RIOT Ink.  Ever since its birth in the fall of 2007, Paula Mendoza-Hanna has led RIOT Ink, and she has done a tremendously-amazing job.  She brought writers together who probably never would have met otherwise and removed us from our cavernous bedrooms or indie-rock coffee shop hideouts.  She has been a large help from making RIOT Ink what it is today and without her none of this really would be happening.  Well, she graduated from UT this past spring and now is pursuing an MFA degree at the University of Michigan.  But don’t worry folks! She isn’t gone for good, just for a couple years or so.  I mean, come on, weather in Michigan has the potential to make people feel cold…and there might be snow. 

In a similar fashion, other core RIOT Inkers have moved on and away to different states and schools and ways of living.  Runjini now teaches kiddos in New Mexico under the program Teach for America and Miles is getting his PhD in History at Indiana University.  And well, Zack has been gone for awhile, living it up in San Francisco.  It is sad to see these people leave, and we wish them all of the best.  Hopefully they will return, if not forever! then at least for a nice stay.

But with all of these departures, it is also time for fresh blood, for new writers and new ideas.  Leadership for RIOT Ink has been passed to me and I look forward to taking on the role.  I hope this fall semester and new year can be the best yet for the group.  In the past we have done reading series, litzines, poetry postcards, collaborations, and other projects.  I hope to continue with those traditions as well as adding new things based off the next generation of writers in the group.   I am excited for the opportunity to work with new writers as well as the veterans from the past couple years.  I want to continue the legacy of RIOT Ink as it has started.

With all of this transitioning, please bear with me.   With school starting and all the other crazy end-of-summer-beginning-of-school stuff happening, it has been kind of hectic.  But I promise to have RIOT Ink mostly-operational sometime this week.  So don’t fret if you haven’t received an email! I will get to you.  I just opened the mailbox today.  I also will have a specific time and place for our first meeting soon.

If you are interested in joining or want more information, just send an email to:

because (dot) words (at) gmail (dot) com

For now, good luck with classes and the first week of school.  I am already brewing my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and reading Dante’s Inferno.


Ryan Bender-Murphy

Categories: RIOT INK News
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