Friday, October 15, 2010
Adam Atkinson: Another New MFA Blog Contributor!
First, thanks to the bigwigs at MFA Blog for inviting me and the other new contributors to participate. I really look forward to exchanging info and opinions, MFA-related or more broadly literary, with as many of you as possible!
I used this blog from summer 2009 to spring 2010 for a multitude of reasons that I'm sure a lot of you know well: researching programs, navigating outdated websites, searching for funding, nailing down the details of application requirements, and sharing news (and hearsay) of notifications. Perhaps the best thing about MFA Blog was the community. Yes, there were Negative Nelsons here and there, but there was also phillywriter, who cheered me on (and I her) as we awaited the verdict of our wait list status at LSU. Now, she's my friend and colleague at the program here in Baton Rouge, and we both still reminisce about the online friends we made here at the blog. And of course, there remain a multitude of positive, helpful, humorous voices like phillywriter--I hope I can be one of them for you!
Before I left Pittsburgh for LSU, I spent five years between school keeping myself very busy: teaching writing and theory at a high school for the arts, starting a regional literary & arts non-profit with a small press component, and founding Pittsburgh's small press festival, which just completed its second annual installment! I somehow managed to write a few poems in that time, and there's one online if you're interested. The transition away from all of this Pittsburgh activity has been difficult, but I'm still keeping myself busy with the rigorous program at LSU, a new small press venture and, of course, blogging here!
I won't post any specific topic this time, but instead I'll tell you a few things I think I can speak to fairly well: getting a literary initiative going in your local community; applying for residencies and grants; applying to schools when you have a bad undergraduate GPA; the prospect of going long-distance with your relationship; being openly gay at a large southern university; and facing down the dreaded strikeout, which nearly happened to me and which I'd already come to accept by the time LSU suddenly yanked me off the waiting list.