Month: May 2014

Whittier Strong (Alaska-Fairbanks ’17) Introduction

My journey to the MFA is convoluted, and intimately tied up in my personal history. You see, I’m almost 40, so I lived a lot of life before I decided to pursue an MFA. I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, born to lower-class parents who had little understanding of college, in spite of the fact that we had a big, prestigious university in our backyard. Fresh out of high school, in 1992, I began attending Bible college in suburban St. Louis. I chose to attend this school mostly because it looked cheap, and I could get scholarships through the denomination I was in at the time. My freshman year coincided with the realization that I was gay. Suffice it to say that Bible college was a long, difficult, and ultimately fruitless struggle.


While looking around The MFA Chronicles this past application season, I was sad to discover it ended in 2011. It was an amazing resource for me as I was applying to MFA programs, and afterwards as I read about Jonterri Gadson’s experiences at the University of Virginia. The MFA Years is very much inspired by The MFA Chronicles. This blog will follow twelve first year MFA poetry, fiction and nonfiction students through their first year of graduate school.