Month: April 2016

I’m working on it.

Image: Ignacio B. Peña I’m done, yaay!! Wait, I’m done? That can’t be right. Okay so I’m not done-done. I still have a little under four months to start and finish a creative dissertation project (i.e. a novella), and then I’m done. But as for the taught portion of the Creative Writing program here at the University of Edinburgh, I’ve attended all of my classes, workshops, and seminars; I’ve read the last of the required novels of the course; I’ve handed in my final literature essay and creative portfolio for the term. The “structured” portion of the course is now behind me. From here, I am left to my own devices. And while I feel currently stalled in figuring out the story that feels right for the novella I will be dedicated to over the next few months (I’m working on it), I’ve been left with a lot of time to reflect on the the course itself and what it is I set out to do in the first place, and what my future as …

Renewing The Vows

As the light at the end-of-the-term-tunnel approaches, skippering half-thoughts firefly through my accordion-like mind. Not a round-up, not yet, as I am not finished, but so close. One big nagging developmental editing project to start and finish, two solid re-writes in fiction and non, a semi-ton truck load of papers and portfolios to mark, the daily slew of emails to wade through making sure the next term is more fruitful and streamlined—scheduling and course picking is a fine art, corners should not be cut. Meet the professors, read the syllabi, ask cohorts what they did and thought, spin the bottle click the plunge. But summer, ah summer and getting off campus is pounding on the door and the idea of returning seems distant. Why not just go back to where I came from and never return? Why not become a postman or a steady-salaried insurance salesman in a country where I am fully-legal and don’t have to worry about guns and healthcare and bitter slum-lords and offending new-friends with comments and feedback and how to …

First Year Contributor Applications Open Until June 20th

We’re taking first year contributor applications until June 1st! Every year we follow the experiences of fifteen first year MFA/MA poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction students. Our contributors discuss their experiences adjusting to graduate school life and the MFA.

So Your BFF/Child/Spouse Is Applying for an MFA

The application process is so angsty. You assemble this huge, painstaking packet, send it out, notice all your typos…

The After: Decisions, Decisions

Image: Thomas Hawk I got my first acceptance the second week of February while heading to my second class of the day. I spent the 75 minutes in my class reading that acceptance letter over and over and trying to keep a smile off my face as the class went over Faulkner. I was on cloud nine the entire day, right through the end of my last class that got out at 7 PM when usually I’m exhausted by then. It was after that class I got my second acceptance letter and I know I looked foolish as I sat on the bus heading home humming a song blasting through my earbuds. I read the first acceptance letter and then the second acceptance letter, then the first, then the second, back and forth during the 30 minute ride. I know people were side eyeing me. I caught a few doing it. But I had gotten into two MFA programs in one day. I was going to celebrate, even if it was just humming loudly on the …

Where Did You End Up? 2016

Image: Chris Campbell Now that April 15th has come and gone, let us know where you’ll be headed in the fall! Or if you’ll be pursuing other opportunities, reapplying again, etc. Also, feel free to leave any questions you have about starting your MFA or reapplying. We’ll do our best to answer them. Don’t forget we’re taking first year contributor applications until June 1st. You must be starting your MFA or creative writing MA in the fall to apply.

April, Cruel Cruel April

To quote the famous poem… April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. – T.S. Elliot from The Wasteland (1922) I am midway through the fourth month of my fourth semester and, alas, perhaps April really is the cruelest month. Despite celebrating the birthdays of many amazing friends and family – including my own – during this fine month, this particular April is proving to be a doozy.

An Inside Look With Kellie Carle, Spalding University ’16

Image: Edsel Little Note: Thank you to first year contributor J.R. Dawson for providing me with these questions! How does your residency work and how it is paced? Spalding University’s Low-Residency program offers several options students can complete while enrolled in the program. The option selected decides the time they will attend residency. Some students, like myself, choose to attend residencies held on Spalding University’s campus in Louisville, Kentucky in the Fall (November) and Spring (May), residing at The Brown Hotel located in close proximity to campus. However, the program is designed with the idea that life happens and everyone does not have the ability to follow a rigid schedule. This flexibility allows students the option of attending in the Fall, Spring, Summer (the residency being held in an international locale overseas) or any combination that works for students as long as they complete the graduation requirements within ten years. During residency, students attend lectures taught by faculty and guest speakers regarding craft techniques, opportunities after graduation as well as readings by faculty and students. Discussions …

Challenging the Whiteness of MFA Programs: A Year in Confrontations at UW

Image: Rene Mensen 1: UW vs. POC Last weekend, our program held its annual recruitment weekend, which means that a bunch of acceptees were flown out here to Laramie, on our program’s dime, in order to see for themselves what the town and program are all about. It was lovely meeting the few prospective students that I did, and I’m eager to hear, once acceptances are all squared away, who will be our new incoming cohort for next year. In some ways, I’m sure these potential newcomers received a fair impression of what life is like in the program as well as in the town. In other ways, not quite. (Of course, I didn’t attempt to catalog exhaustive testimonies on this, so forgive me, members of my cohort, if this assertion feels inaccurate.) Bubbling beneath the falsely serene surface of the University of Wyoming’s MFA program is a tension, common to most MFAs, between its minority students and the “apolitical” culture that, while in and of itself is not a crime or aggression, usually results …

AWP Day 1

Image credit: BKL Long time, no see! I’m at AWP for the next few days and loving it so far. On Thursday, I started my day off at “The Poetry of Comics” panel featuring Erica Trabold, Bianca Stone, Gabrielle Bates, Alexander Rothman and Catherine Bresner. I checked it out because I’ve been working on a graphic novel and a short comic series. The panel was all I could have asked for and more. The writers read from their work and talked about how comics and poetry intersect. Much was said about revision, collaboration, ekphrasis poetry, and editing. “Comics is ekphrasis in reverse.” – Catherine Bresner, “The Poetry of Comics” panel I recommend checking out all of the above mentioned writers. Bianca Stone’s book “Poetry Comics” can be found at Pleiades Press (table 1511) and Alexander Rothman helps run INK BRICK (table 1741). After that I wandered around the bookfair. Always my favorite part of AWP (that, and meeting up with friends). I picked up “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” by Ocean Vuong, “When My Brother Was …