Monday, August 5, 2013


The end of this past semester was so hectic that I'm only now coming out from under everything.  Now that I'm not living on a diet of take-out and stress, I'm looking forward to writing, submitting, and reading a lot more than I have in ages.  Before I leap onto new things, though, I think its worth looking back at the end of school, so I'll be doing that this week.  Stay tuned for posts on my fellowship, thesis reading, graduation, and work as a reading coordinator.  And today, a very brief love letter to my MFA.

Before I decided to apply for MFAs, I was pretty lost.  I was working in a dead-end customer service job.  I was rejected from a few teaching programs and had no idea what I was going to do next.  I'd always been comforted by poetry, so I started reading it again, and memorized a little Robert Frost.  It was a turning point for me, and the next fall, I took an excellent workshop at the New School with Miranda Field, a completely brilliant poet who encouraged me to apply to NYU.  I worried that it was the only program I was applying to that wasn't fully funded, but knew immediately after looking at the faculty list that it was the one for me.  One acceptance, a whole lot of funding, amazing friends and poems, and one graduation later, I can say with certainty that it really was the right program for me.

The opportunity to focus on writing, to make the craft of poetry my biggest priority for two years was incredible.  But to do it with the support of some of the very finest living poets, in New York City, surrounded by the most generous friends possible, was an absolute dream come true.  I can't imagine another program so full of warmth, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.  From my very first workshop, where Sharon Olds made me feel like my poem had an innate light, to the moment Yusef Komunyakaa signed off on my thesis and said, "Well, it's done now," there wasn't a minute of the program that didn't feel like pure magic.  I'm so grateful to have been a part of the amazing NYU community for the past two years, and I can't wait to take all I've learned and continue to use it and grow in poetry.

Other Posts on NYU MFA Week: