Month: July 2015

David Morgan O’Connor Introduction (University of New Mexico ’18)

Migration, emigration, re-immigration, what-have-you… I enter the immigration line at Lax. US-Resident or Visitor? First decision on terra firma. Guess which line is longer. I am somewhere in between, always. Lunch, an arepa in Bogota. No breakfast just a 5am tearfilled taxidoor good-bye in Rio de Janeiro with a magical woman. who I am crazy for and crazy to leave. How many times does true love knock on your door, enter and cook salmon with potatoes with no questions asked only warm bliss and pure connection sprinkled with kisses… in this fleeting life? Not many. Not this good. A sweet child, visas, jobs, families, money, practicalities keep her from following and me from staying. If I think about this stuff too long, I will turn around, buy a return ticket. Nobody needs an MFA to write anyway, pure vanity, yet there is time and community and new tricks to learn and new thoughts and time. I am waiting behind the yellow line. Officer Khan calls out NEXT. -I would like to apply for a TN …

Lauren J Sharkey Introduction (Stony Brook Southampton ’16)

Image:  Noukka Signe I’ve never liked the word “writer.” I guess that’s why I always give people my job title when they ask what I do. Doing this allows me to avoid those stereotypical questions—so what do you write about? But what do you really do? Isn’t it a bad time to go into print? That’s not the reason I avoid the word though. The real reason is because calling myself a writer somehow feels like a huge lie. My parents, like many parents, wanted me to go to college. They wanted me to have job security, meet a nice man, and select just the right shade of Egg Shell for my gender-neutral nursery. They did not want a child in “the arts.”  I suppose it’s not uncommon. After all, creatives aren’t really known for their job stability. So, I went to college. I got a job, met a nice guy, and (after three wonderful years) found myself wanting all these things. I traded novels for wedding magazines. I lost myself in Pinterest and Etsy—trying to figure …

Katharine G. Monger Introduction (Washington University in St. Louis ’17)

Image: Alice Popkorn Is there a typical MFA admission story? I’m not sure. Mine feels atypical, but perhaps that’s a self-centered need to be a special snowflake. I’m a second round applicant. I first applied during my senior year at The University of Iowa, because, even though the MFA friends I had gotten close to in college had advised me not to, and even though my professors advised me not to, and even though blogs and Facebook groups and forums told me not to, I was stubborn. I ended up applying to eight programs, all in fiction except for my alma mater, where I had to choose between applying for fiction and nonfiction. (I chose the latter, but that’s another post.) Round 1:  Brown University (R)[1] The University of Texas-Austin (Michener Center) (R) Washington University in St. Louis {W}[2] University of Notre Dame {W} University of Montana (R) Cornell University (R) The University of Iowa (R) University of Massachusetts-Amherst (R) [1] (R) Rejected [2] {W} Waitlisted (official and unofficial) Complicating my self-made abyss of MFA applications was my …

Reasons To Go Out On A Limb (Alternately: Pursuing an MFA)

When I’m back staying with my parents—usually on school breaks or work breaks or what have you—I end up working at the restaurant that I’ve been at for years. During this most recent little break, at the end of May, I was chatting with some regulars that have seen me come and go for almost ten years now. They’re a married couple with a penchant for white wine and sitting at Table 1. “We forgot what you’re going to grad school for!” said the woman, a stylish Belgian lady with flowing scarves and salt-and-pepper hair. When I told them it was a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing, I could see that the couple didn’t quite know what to think. “Of what practical use is that?” asked the woman, her accent making the question sound more dramatic. “Oh, very little practical use,” I said, and then we all laughed and she began to question me on my real-world practical skills (I do have some, I promise). This whole exchange forced me to examine the …