Category: Uncategorized

Novel is the Scariest Word I Know

December 15, 2016  |  Uncategorized

There were very few things I was absolutely sure of coming into grad school. Really, the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to write a novel for my thesis. I’ve always been sure of that, even though I’ve never written a novel before. But that was why I was here—to finally […]

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In Defense of Grossness

November 30, 2016  |  Uncategorized

    When my friend first read Jenny Zhang, he wrinkled his nose and said “She’s very forthright about her grossness, isn’t she?”. It’s true. Zhang’s work traffics in the gross—in bodily fluids of all kinds, in snot and blood and tears. In her essay “How it Feels,” written for Poetry Magazine, Zhang describes episodes […]

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Literature in Trump’s America, or Writing Politically

November 16, 2016  |  Uncategorized

When I chose November 16th as the date for my blog post, I thought I was being very clever. That’s the last post before the Thanksgiving break, I thought. I’ll have a lot of non-controversial, relatable things to say about being ready to take a break, I thought. It’ll be easy to write, I thought. […]

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Interview with Hannah Jones

October 26, 2016  |  Uncategorized

When I walked jet-lagged and hopeful into the 2016 AWP Book Fair, before the May haze had settled over LA, I found myself gazing over a city of ink, spines, and over-caffeinated writers. Some tiled with business cards, some strung with yarn and origami birds, the hundreds of tables coalesced into a lovefest for the […]

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Introducing: Chicken Riot!

October 20, 2016  |  Uncategorized

I have been organizing an arts event alongside my first semester in the MFA program (poet speaking here). Chicken Riot is a monthly event, a main goal of which being to draw a bridge between artists within the community and those occupying the academic space. The more connected artists are to each other, the more […]

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It Feels Like Coming Home…

October 13, 2016  |  Uncategorized

It feels like coming home. That was my response when a stranger at the coffee shop asked what my first few weeks of graduate school felt like. It feels like coming home. I don’t know that the response was appropriate to the question. And I’m sure the polite gentleman wrinkled his eyebrows thinking hard about […]

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A Dialogue on Love, An Annotation

October 5, 2016  |  Uncategorized

As I write this annotation, it is the middle of August, near the beginning of my final year in this program, and I am beginning again to feel a sense of impending doom. It cannot be chalked up to the change in weather, I love watching the leaves turn and the air grow chill, but […]

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Be Nice to Graduate Students

September 27, 2016  |  Uncategorized

After reading the title, you’re likely either saying to yourself, “Well, duh – I try to be nice to everyone,” or, “But do I have to be nice to that person?” Both fair points, neither of which I’m addressing today. Instead, I’m talking about you. Be nice to yourself! And yes, this applies to you […]

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Domestication and the Spontaneous Practice of Writing

September 14, 2016  |  Uncategorized

As I write this, the sun warms the back of my shoulders and neck. I am sprawled out in a wood lawn chair. My daughters, ages 2 and 7, are squealing from one corner of the yard in excitement over the tracking of a large beetle bug. “Let’s name him Alfonso!” I hear them say. […]

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The “Welcome” Blog Post from MFA Director, 2017

September 7, 2016  |  Uncategorized

In 1824, a 19-year old would-be artist came to meet William Blake, and the elder poet asked him a terribly simple question: “Do you work with fear and trembling?” It was for him, the young man claimed, a “formative” experience. In some way half-inexplicable to myself, I might want to ask each of us, students […]

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