Joan Hanna '11

Joan HannaCity/State of Residence: New Jersey

Genre: Poetry (cross-genre student)

Bio: Joan Hanna was born and raised in Philadelphia. Joan holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University. She is Assistant Editor and Nonfiction for r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal and Assistant Managing Editor of River Teeth, A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. Her poems have appeared in The Ohio Poetry Association's publication, Common Threads, the inaugural issue of Rowan University’s publication, Glassworks, and the 15th Annual Poetry Ink Anthology. Joan’s book reviews have appeared in Author,The Ashland University MFA Blog and Poets' Quarterly. Follow Joan on her blog:Writing Through Quicksand.

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 a Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and Assistant Editor, Nonfiction/Poetry for r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal. I am also an Adjunct at Rowan University teaching creative writing. My poetry chapbook, Threads, was published by Finishing Line Press in April 2013. 

Feel free to contact Joan if you have any additional questions:

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