All posts tagged: MFA; writing

So Your BFF/Child/Spouse Is Applying for an MFA

The application process is so angsty. You assemble this huge, painstaking packet, send it out, notice all your typos…

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Meeting Alison Bechdel, WUSTL’s Visiting Hurst Professor in Nonfiction

Photo Credit: David Blank   Something that really excited me about WUSTL’s MFA program was its impressive rotation of visiting writers. In nonfiction this semester alone we hosted readings from Dinty W. Moore, who also visited one of our graduate classes; and Meghan Daum, who led a small discussion workshop prior to her talk. Hurst Visiting Professors spend even more time with us: we invite one writer per genre per semester to present a craft talk and/or reading, read student manuscripts, and meet with students one-on-one. This semester, our poets met with Claudia Rankine, and our fiction students met with Joy Williams. Being the inaugural year of nonfiction, I didn’t know who WUSTL would be able to bring in. When I found out that our Hurst was Alison Bechdel, I felt pretty embarrassed that I didn’t know who she was. As my partner put it to me, “How do you not know who Alison Bechdel is?” I blame a few things: my somewhat isolated and closeted life growing up in a little bitty farm town …

All about Class(es)

Earlier this week, we had a bit of fake fall weather (don’t worry, folks, temperatures are back up into the 80’s) and I realized that I was already finishing up with my fourth week of classes. Not surprising, given that the reading load seems to be, hmm, densifying as time goes on? (All words are words, even the made up ones!) But I wanted to spend this post talking about the classes I’m taking at Alabama and how classes work in general here. A lot of territory to cover, so let’s get started! This semester, I’m taking three classes, which is the norm for first-year MFA students at Alabama—Hypoxic Fiction, Blood Melodrama, and Comedy (second-years often drop down to two classes as they starting teaching their own undergraduate composition classes). I know, I know, the course titles kind of sound like I’m at some strange hippy-dippy summer camp, but that’s one of the neat things about Alabama—the classes tend to be a bit more unconventional than your typical workshops and theory courses. I’ll start with …