Class of 2003, BFA in Creative Writing, Minor in Women’s Studies
What was your favorite part of studying Creative Writing at UE?
I loved talking with professors in their offices, sitting in class drinking in my professor’s words, knowing like-minded poets and peers, reading and thinking, writing and researching essays, drafting, sharing and revising poems, reading and selecting poems and editing the Evansville Review, attending the English Department Coffee Hour (and meeting phenomenally skilled and well-known poets), participating in the Wanita DeLong poetry workshop, founding the (perhaps short-lived?) UE Writers Guild, and teaching elementary students poetry in the Writers in the Schools Program.
What did you experience in UE’s CRW department that feels special/unique to our program?
From my first day, I knew practicing poets and writers; kind, patient teachers; enthusiastic lovers of literature; and scholars of great insight. I might mention these qualities were contained in single individuals. UE was a place where everything that matters, mattered; where no one “fell through the cracks”; where I was taken seriously as a writer from the outset, and truly mentored. Every ambition I had was met. The human beings that served as faculty made me a better writer and a better thinker. They saw and nourished my best self.
What was your favorite Creative Writing class and why?
As a creative writer, I take the liberty of amending “favorite” to mean something plural. The words of a great professor are like gold; you can carry them with you forever. My pockets are heavy, still, and full of music, with the gold I collected from my classes at UE. Formative, inspiring, gratifying, enriching courses include: Dr. Mike Carson’s Intro to Imaginative Writing, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Shakespeare, seminar on Emily Dickinson, and independent studies in poetry, fiction, and theology; Dr. William Baer’s metrical poetry, film course, and independent studies in poetry; Dr. Margaret McMullen’s Creative Non-Fiction; Professor Rob Griffith’s poetry writing workshops; Dr. Larry Caldwell’s Romantic Poets, Early English Poetry, and Norse Myth, Epic, and Saga; and Dr. Michael Sowder’s 20th Century American Poetry.
Outside Creative Writing and literature, foremost in my mind remain Dr. Anthony Beaver’s class on Plato and Aristotle, neuroscience with Dr. Laura Becker, and Dr. Carl Berry’s Cultural Anthropology, as well as my Women’s Studies class with Wioletta Polinska, studies of novels by women with Professor Tiffany Griffith, and Dr. Dianne Oliver’s Women in Religion.
In other words (for what it’s worth!), I largely owe my imaginative, literary, and cultural heritage to the faculty of the University of Evansville. UE’s faculty showed me it was possible to live a life of loving, learning, teaching, and practicing poetry, a possibility I aspire to and often realize day by day.
What are you up to now?
In 2007, I earned an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at SIU-Carbondale; I then completed course work and qualifying exams for a PhD in English at the University of Kentucky, earning valuable teaching experience at both institutions. Since 2015, when I took leave of the PhD program at UK, I have worked as a medical administrative assistant. I also work part-time as an English instructor at Western Kentucky Community and Technical College. I am currently considering a PhD in Creative Writing.
I began publishing poems in the occasional journal beginning my senior year at UE. Recently, a collection of my poems appeared as The Word B-i-r-d, published by Allison Joseph’s No Chair Press, a chapbook series for women who write in metrical forms. I am working on new poems and surveying poems written in the past. I hope to submit to several chapbook and book contests in the near future.
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