Category: MFA


November 9, 2016  |  Fiction, MFA, Writing

    With fall break on the horizon and my first semester of graduate school readying itself to be tucked in I can’t help but do that looking-back-thing and wonder if I’ve best used these past weeks. If I’ve stretched myself enough, leaned in and learned from my initial discomforts, been a thorough and generous […]

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Living Social

September 11, 2013  |  Community, Fiction, Fort Collins, MFA, Uncategorized, Writing

The best thing about being in a writing program is being around other people who understand the writing condition. I think Leslee Becker told me that once, or something like it. And it’s true, I think, that coming to Fort Collins for graduate school has afforded me the wonderful opportunity to be comfortable with the […]

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Shapeshift: An Annotation

April 24, 2013  |  Annotations, MFA, Poetry, Uncategorized

Bitsui, Sherwin.  Shapeshift.  Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 2003.  Print. I came back to Shapeshift in an elementally coincidental kind of way; I first had a copy bought for me by a professor of (post)colonial lit, Vermonja Alston, at a reading Bitsui gave, when I was a poor undergrad.  Somewhere I gave it away or […]

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A Charm for Sleep: An Annotation

April 8, 2013  |  Annotations, MFA, Poetry, Publishing, Writing

Rehm, Pam. “A Charm for Sleep.” Small Works. Chicago: Flood Editions, 2005. What I admire in this poem (which pertains, really, to Small Works as a whole, as well as to The Larger Nature) is the poet’s sense of surety, her feeling of calm, a tone or bearing carefully measured out to ultimately form a […]

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When Words Turn to Black Cloth and Black Cloth Turns to Ink

December 10, 2012  |  Fiction, MFA, Poetry, Teaching

A few fortunate things happened to me this semester: 1.I was given the opportunity to teach Introduction to Creative Writing (E210) here at Colorado State University. 2.I had a conversation over drinks with Audrey Wasielewski, who teaches Intermediate Sculpting in the Visual Arts Department.  At first glance, these two events are quite separate. Even if […]

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Against Talent

November 7, 2012  |  MFA, Publishing, Teaching

Flannery O’Connor was once famously asked if writing workshops discouraged young writers, to which she is said to have replied, “Not enough of them.” The essayist Pico Iyer maintains that, “Writing can be learned, but not taught.” Beneath such skeptical pronouncements lies, it seems to me, a niggling doubt about the source of art: whether […]

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Necessary Confusions

September 28, 2012  |  MFA

My own teaching life feels haunted. I don’t mean that the classroom is filled with ghosts, nor that tradition’s image is the book as sepulcher suddenly opened (though, on second thought, both these denials might be true). I mean something much simpler, much more common, something I’m sure every teacher of writing must feel at […]

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