Corinna McClannahan Schroeder
Class of 2008, BFA in Creative Writing
What was your favorite part of studying Creative Writing at UE?
Part of why I decided to attend the University of Evansville as a Creative Writing major was because of the incredible number of extracurricular opportunities that creative writing students are given. During my time at UE, I worked my way up from being a reader for the national literary journal The Evansville Review to serving as Poetry Editor to serving as Editor-in-Chief. I was also an intern for the metrical poetry journal Measure, which is run out of the department by Professors Rob Griffith and Paul Bone and which gave me the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of how a press works. In addition, the Creative Writing Program brought (and still brings!) a whole host of writers to campus to read during monthly Coffee Hours. There really wasn’t a week of my undergraduate career that went by when I wasn’t able to participate in an activity or attend an event that expanded my knowledge and understanding of what it means to be a writer, reader, editor, and critic.
What did you experience in UE’s CRW department that feels special/unique to our program?
UE’s Creative Writing Department is a close-knit community—a family. While I was an undergrad there, I felt “seen.” My professors knew my name and my writing; they cared how I was doing as a writer and a person. I received personal attention from the faculty, and in turn, I got to know them as teachers but also as active, publishing writers. As someone who wanted to pursue a life of writing but didn’t quite know how to go about doing that, that was such a gift!
What was your favorite Creative Writing class and why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite creative writing class at UE because they were truly all so formative for me as a young writer! Two of my very favorites were Dr. Bill Baer’s Introduction to Poetry course, where I learned to scan meter and write everything from ballads to villanelles, and the advanced poetry workshop I took with Professor Rob Griffith as part of the Harlaxton Summer Creative Writing Program, which gave me the chance to learn from guest poets like Colette Bryce and Beth Ann Fennelly and, with Professor Griffith’s help, to hone many of the poems that I ended up including in my applications to Creative Writing MFA programs.
What are you up to now?
I am currently a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. I am in the process of completing two projects, which make up my dissertation—a creative project, which is a book of poems, and a critical project, which investigates Victorian novels and the Victorian periodical press. At USC, I also teach undergraduate courses, including creative writing workshops, honors seminars, and first-year academic writing.
I am still writing—every day! My first book of poems, Inked, won the 2014 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Award and was published by Texas Review Press in November, 2015. I am currently at work on my second book of poems, tentatively titled “Heroine,” which is composed of poems that “talk back” to Victorian novels and cultural ideas, especially about women and marriage. I first published most of the poems in appeared in Inked individually in different print and online literary journals like Shenandoah, The Gettysburg Review, Poet Lore, and Blackbird, and poems from “Heroine” appear or are forthcoming in journals like Pleiades, Indiana Review, Western Humanities Review, and Nimrod.
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