2014, Archives, October 2014, The MFA Years

Looking Forward

Last week, Ada Limón visited UVA as a Rea Visiting Lecturer. She gave a wonderful hour long craft talk about ending poems. This is something I struggle with (see also: titles) so the talk was timely. She gave us six different examples of endings, along with lots of examples. I hadn’t heard of about half of the poems she used and that was a nice bonus. Now I have new poems I can read and work through in relation to what I’m writing. Afterwards, a bunch of us poets and a few fiction writers had lunch with her on grounds. In both venues she talked about some of the jobs she’s had and none of them involved teaching. I’m not interested in teaching so it was great to hear from the perspective of someone who’s had a career largely outside of academia. The visit also included, of course, a reading. I won’t say much except that is was lovely and Ada has a great reading voice. I would love to read as well as her some day.

And then Erika Meitner, a UVA MFA grad and a professor at Virginia Tech, visited a few days later and talked about “life after the MFA.” Which also included lots of discussion about careers MFA graduates can pursue that don’t involve teaching. Overall, it was a good week for me in terms of feeling better about not wanting to teach!

The same day as Ada’s visit, I also spent a few hours sitting on the lawn. I people watched, wrote a little, and caught up on television shows. I’ve come to the realization that I need to spend a lot more time on the lawn before it gets cold. It’s gorgeous and so completely different from the places I came to love at my undergrad. Also, there are lots of dogs to “awww” at and admire. Charlottesville really loves dogs.

Other fun things that happened this month and last month include: James Salter lectures, inner tube water polo games, Halloween movie nights, and seeing Natasha Trethewey read at Virginia Commonwealth.

I’m looking forward to Larissa Szporluk’s visit in November. Should be fun! I’m also hoping to start writing more poems. I’ve been in a downward spiral since fall break, but things are starting to look up writing wise!

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