Author: Devin Koch

What is Your Message of Hope?

Image By: Martin “Interrogate yourself. Everyday. What is your message of hope?” – Ocean Vuong My first semester in pursuing my MFA, I got the privilege to hear Ocean Vuong, an exceptional poet, who visited Virginia Tech and delivered a craft talk the following day. He had a soft-spoken voice when he talked but when he read his work, there was a strong sense of passion and intensity. His craft talk covered the idea of how powerful language is, especially in regards to how fluid language is. It is connected to one’s culture and history. It is a way to connect with the ones around you. Language is ever changing, with new slang being introduced and how words/acronyms can change meaning. For instance, we all know what Lol means, but now it holds more abilities. These days people use it in texts as if it’s filler or a means of trying to lighten the mood. Lol I just bombed the test. When you take the Lol out it has a completely different meaning, where there …

A Writer’s New Year’s Resolution

Image: jev55 It’s approaching the end of December and the beginning of the New Year. It’s a time to rejuvenate your bank accounts, eat leftovers with slight remorse, watch the new season of The Bachelor and, of course, make New Years Resolutions. For writers, this could mean a lot of things. For instance, finishing that one book the size of Moby Dick you can never find time to read, sending out your work like a sower hoping something will flourish in the field of publishers, or wanting to have more writing under your belt. A New Years Resolution requires a change. That is to say—a person needs to make a discerning/meticulous effort in order to see their desired outcome come true. If that weren’t the case, then by golly I’d have my Zac Efron abs while sitting around for the next Star Wars movie to come out. It calls for action, which is always easier said than done. When thinking about my own writing for next year, I still want to generate work that I’m proud of …

MFA: What Should I Be Doing?

Image: Kevin West So you got into a MFA program? The stress of assembling your list of schools, perfecting your writing portfolio, and making sure all of your letter of recommendations have been sent are left behind. Your hopes and dreams have come true. Now that you have accepted the one school that suits your needs your first thought is that you have nothing else to worry about. This thought will last you approximately 1.28 seconds. The moment after I told Virginia Tech that I was attending in the Fall, there was a rush of panic that went through me. Do I have enough substantial work? Will my cohort and I get along? Should I have applied again next year? Will I be living under a rock come August? Should I be working or writing in the summer? When I reflected on my summer experience and the beginning of the first year of my MFA I kept asking myself, what should I be doing right now? This post is geared towards those of you who …

Devin Koch Introduction (Virginia Tech ’19)

Image: Robert MacDonald Let’s jump right out of the gate and do the all important, “Say your name and tell everyone at least one interesting fact about you.” It’s that time of year where syllabus week marks the silence of fresh students and when my mind is scattering with panic thoughts of Where is my next class at again? Does this cardigan make me look professional? and of course What is the wretched fact I’m going to tell? Fun fact: during my last semester of undergrad at the University Nebraska Lincoln I told everyone I had lived in Canada for six years of my life, specifically the Manitoba region, and moved to the state of Nebraska with my family. Let me tell you, it was a smashing hit. It also seemed fitting for me being an English major and fabricating this story of my childhood in front of my peers. For now, I’ll stick to the facts. So here we go: (Caution: some may be exaggerated for dramatic affect) Hello. My name is Devin Koch and …