Tag Archives: Master of Fine Arts

MFA Nugget: Down the Rabbit Hole

Fans of my MFA Nugget series–posts sharing the wisdom and personal experiences of my on-site Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residencies–likely assumed there would be no more such posts after I graduated last summer. Well, I’m delighted to revive that series–for one post at least–with a guest blog by J.M. Cooper. J.M. currently is […]

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How I Failed to Avoid the Post-MFA Slump

I have a confession to make. It has been six weeks since my last serious effort at creative writing. One thing I’ve learned from interviewing artists is that even the best of them sometimes find themselves in a slump. And we can be very supportive of each other in these times, as I discovered when […]

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MFA Nugget: The End of This Creative Road

MONTPELIER, VT: At 8:45 am I will give a one-hour lecture on creative writing craft, part of my graduation requirements in my MFA in Writing with the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Assuming that goes well, I will receive my diploma during our graduation ceremony this afternoon. At this 10-day residency, I have also given […]

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MFA Nugget: What the Heck is a Postmodern Memoir?

MONTPELIER, VT: I would never miss a lecture by Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Patrick Madden. Like his essays, his lectures¬†provoke curiosity and reflection. And like his essays, he remains frustratingly elusive when it comes to the simple takeaways that so work in a blog summation. But in this lecture on the “postmodern memoir” […]

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MFA Nugget: Identifying A Nagging Sense of Anxiety

MONTPELIER, VT: This is supposed to be a ten-day celebration of two years of hard work. At the conclusion of this Vermont College of Fine Arts residency I will hear my name called and be handed a diploma signifying I am a Master of Fine Arts. So why have I been so crippled with anxiety […]

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A Two-Year MFA in Writing Reading List in One Post

“So I would imagine you have to do a lot of reading in an MFA program,” I am sometimes asked. The answer is yes, and appropriately so: some believe the best way to learn to write is to read a lot, and to read critically. So what have I been reading the last two years […]

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3 Steps Off the Path of an Art-Committed Life

It is one of my greatest fears. I have abandoned my creativity before; this blog is my chronicle of returning to an art-committed life and working to stay there.¬†That is also a central theme of the travel memoir I am in the process of polishing to final. But it is so easy to drift away […]

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Imposing Deadlines on Your Work-In-Progress

One of the challenges of an art-committed life is that to produce quality art, you must meet deadlines. Sometimes those deadlines are self-imposed, with no fatal consequences befalling you if they are not met. I find myself wrestling with that challenge right now, as I look ahead to the finish line with my work-in-progress, a […]

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MFA Nugget: An Entire Residency in One Tasty Bite

You may have been following along with me as I blogged from my fourth MFA in Writing residency at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. If you read every post–I’m looking at you, PJ Reece!–then feel free to move on. If you weren’t tuning in every day, here’s a recap: CRAFT AND OBSERVATION […]

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MFA Nugget: What I Learned at My Fourth Residency

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA — So I’m back home from my MFA in Writing residency with the Vermont College of Fine Arts. My car is covered in that opaque sludge that comes from splashbacks of snow and road salt, but I’m going to leave it that way for a few days as a reminder of where I’ve […]

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