Writing nonfiction erotica with creativity



Tony Whedon

Tony Whedon, a past Johnson State College professor, was welcomed back as the first guest writer in the BFA Creative Writing series on Oct. 13, hosted by Jensen Beach and Liz Powell, both Johnson State College professors.

Beach discovered Whedon’s works shortly after he started at JSC. Ironically, it was a nonfiction erotica essay about time spent in Spain. Through a hilarious story, Beach discovered that what he thought was fiction was, in fact, nonfiction. Thus, Whedon is the author of three nonfiction novels.

Whedon founded the Green Mountain Review, a student submission-based art magazine that runs annually. Having a deep affinity for poetry, Whedon likes to combine poetry and music, as he also plays trombone.

As an avid poet myself, I try to connect my studies with journalism and creative writing to photography and other mediums of art, such as textiles and sculpture. This similar thought process was born into “Po-Jazz” — a mixture of poets and jazz performers.

Whedon’s “Po-Jazz” survived for almost a decade and toured throughout the greater New England area.
Whedon’s first reading was of “I Drank,” a poem that tells a tale of a man connected very deeply with nature, drinking physically — or metaphorically, one could say — every type of water and substance other than alcohol.

“For years I drank water straight from the brook/unmuddied brook water/I drank brackish runoff and rainwater,” spoke Whedon.

He said his pieces are never about the self, but more about places and the concepts his travels bring forth. His works span from Naples to Georgia, California to Spain, and more. Whedon explores race in many of his pieces since he owns a home halfway between Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla.

“I love to watch the locals eat on grits and bacon/I love to hear the help singing from the kitchen/ ‘I couldn’t sleep last night,’ I hear an old White lady say, ‘and when I do, I dream of the devil,’” said Whedon.

Whedon has been published through Green Writers Press, a start-up printing company that works in cooperation with Springfield Printing. According to their website, “We are a vibrant Vermont publishing company, founded with the mission to help spread a message of hope and renewal through the words and images we publish.”

Green Writers Press is inundated with submissions for their literary magazine, “The Hopper,” as well as independent printing.

Whedon is having a “Po-Jazz” and reception for his new work “The Hatcheck Girl,” on Friday, Oct. 21 from 5:30 to7:30 p.m. at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville. Whedon has been selling “The Hatcheck Girl” with Sun Dog Poetry Center, a collective out of Burlington, since early September.

If you want a copy of his work signed, drop in and hear a one-of-a-kind artistic performance — a combination of lusty, nonfiction, poetry on his travels and elaborate fiction.

Whedon poses this question: “What is nonfiction? And the concept of books change. Every book I have written is completely different from each other.”