Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Don Belton

On December 27th 2009, Don Belton, a much loved member of the Creative Writing faculty here at IU, was brutually murdered. Don was an incredibly generous man, a talented intellectual, and a gifted writer. Words are inadequate to describe the sense of loss and sadness that his students, colleagues, friends, and family feel. He will be greatly missed.

I feel fortunate to have worked closely with Don this past semester. I would spend hours in his office, sitting on the sofa, laughing, listening to jazz and marveling at the hundreds of books that lined the walls. I will always remember the advice he gave me. He had a way of zeroing in on exactly what wasn't working in a draft and explaining the problem in the most original way possible. He once told me that I didn't yet understand a phrase I had written to describe a character. On one of the last stories of mine that he read, he told me that fiction was a poker game and I needed to work on my bluff. And he was right every time. I feel that I am a better writer and a better reader because of Don and I thank him for that.

More information regarding this tragdey can be found here:

If you are in Bloomington, please join us for Don's memorial service this Friday, January 15th at 5 p.m. at the Uniterian Universalist Church, 2120 N Fee Lane (for directions please visit


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