What initially drew you to Ashland's MFA Program? I was initially drawn to Ashland's MFA Program because of the focus on the writer. This was also the only program that offered a dual genre with creative nonfiction.
What did you appreciate most? I have to say I appreciated the combined creative nonfiction and poetry craft sessions and readings. I found that the two genres began to speak into one another in a way that impacted my writing unlike other programs where I would be limited to my genre alone.
How do you feel this program impacted you? The combined craft classes allowed me to take techniques from both genres and apply them to my writing. Whether it was a craft element or a conceptual approach, it became about the idea of writing and how to improve so I could move on to the next level.
What do you feel was the greatest takeaway? Because the instructors and visiting writers not only read or taught, but also had dinner and lunch with the students it was more like we were all part of a community of writers at Ashland. The students were able to connect with both instructors and visiting writers in a way that I didn't think would be possible in other programs.
What was the subject or theme of your thesis? My thesis was an autobiographical poetry collection. I had at first wanted to do a hybrid with prose and poetry, but realized that both were coming from the same place and decided to focus on poetry. I don't think that it would have been possible for me to even think of the thesis in terms of being autobiographical were it not for the combined craft classes.
Finally, what are you up to now? Current occupation, or otherwise: I am currently Assistant Managing Editor for River Teeth and am also Assistant Editor and Nonfiction Editor for r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal.