All posts tagged: moving

Mark Galarrita Introduction (University of Alabama ’17)

Within the basement of the three-bedroom house that I rent in Tuscaloosa, there is a portal to hell. This particular hole belongs to Mikhail, the devil that has called Alabama his home for over a thousand years.

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Rachel Heng Introduction (Michener Center for Writers ’20)

Image: Nick Page In two days I will fly to Austin to start my MFA, but for now I find myself in the living room of my flat in London, surrounded by very large piles of clothes. Turns out shipping things across the Atlantic is eye-wateringly expensive (duh, what did I think), so I’ve spent the last few days trying to give away/donate/throw out most of my belongings. I am an unapologetic hoarder. I own movie stubs from 2008 and cut-off shorts from 2003 (that I have last worn when I was literally 14. 14.) and pebbles plucked off a beach in 1999. My husband’s wedding vows contained the line, “In the past 8 years, I have watched you collect about 1 million items.” All my other international moves had been for work and therefore paid for, so I’ve never had to throw anything out before. Every last half-used notebook, every last ticket stub came with me, from Singapore to New York, New York back to Singapore, Singapore to London. But now, for the first …

Winter Break

When people ask you where you are from, practice a different answer each time.  Give the name of a region, an adjacent town, the street you last lived on.  Take each place and hold yourself against its light to see where the edges meet. In January, move the writing desk to the other side of the room.  There is no window there.  Later, you will empty the last of the boxes from August, the ones filled with ephemera: photographs, letters, slips of paper that hold memories of people and places that have never been more distant.  There, you will find the porcelain figurine that belonged to your late grandmother, the one your mother accidentally smashed, then glued back together again, and gave to you when she could no longer stand to look at it.  In this reordered room, set it in the corner of your desk. Christmas will have come and gone in this new place.  A month ago, you felt the blood of your origins ticking through your veins and wondered how this type …

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 …

Emylisa Warrick Introduction (University of South Carolina ’18)

When I applied to graduate school, I thought I wouldn’t get in. I thought I would apply, receive my rejections, and continue the life that I was living. I had just gotten a job in publishing after several months of internships, and I lived with my partner of eight years by a trio of lakes in a nice, quiet neighborhood in Minneapolis. I attended readings at the Loft and local coffee shops. I made connections and friends in the publishing world as well as friends in the local, literary community. I had a nice life, and I thought I would continue living it. I thought I would still wake up and see Matt’s face every day. I thought I would still run around the lake and see people with their dogs. I thought I would continue strengthening my relationships with people I came to know and cared for. But that’s the thing about making plans; sometimes you follow them and sometimes they just don’t pan out how you expected. I applied for graduate school because, …

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 …

Routines and Broken Things

If bad luck comes in threes, I’ll be glad to see the end of September. Between Car Scare Tuesday (what is this mystery light that’s suddenly blinking on my dash, and why will no one let me over so I can stop the car?), Internet Fail Friday (what do you mean, there are no appointments for two weeks?), and Laptop Crash Monday (why why why did I not use an external hard drive, please have mercy on all my non-backed-up drafts and pictures of getting lost in Romania), it has been an interesting week and a half. Particularly for my grad-student-sized savings account. Still, everything that does not involve me touching machinery and technology feels like it’s clicking into place. All the different compartments of life in Lexington: writing, homeworking, socializing, grading, church-ing, cooking for myself for the first time.