Hello there from Albuquerque!
First of all, thank you so much to Tom for giving me the chance to contribute to the discussion. I look forward to the cool conversations this blog offers, and like my fellow bloggers, I'm happy to help with anything!
I was on MFA Blog last year looking for advice and a community when I applied to 14 programs. It was an expensive and exhausting process, but in the end, totally life-changing. Currently, I'm in the MFA program at the University of New Mexico, and I'm loving every second! Teaching undergraduate English and writing lots and lots of poetry keeps me busy, but Abq offers a lot to do. Much of my time I spend seeing the sights.
In August, my longtime girlfriend Emily moved with me from Boise, Idaho to the Land of Enchantment. We miss the Northwest, but Abq reminds us so much of Boise--the mountains to the east, the high desert, the ease of fitting in, and the warmth of the community.
Though I look forward to giving any advice I can, I might relate most to younger MFA applicants. I graduated in June from a small liberal arts college outside of Boise, and spent fall of my senior year applying to programs while still handling a full-time course load. I say if you want to do it now, do it now. I knew I wanted to go straight into an MFA program. I couldn't see myself doing anything else, and at this point, I'm completely happy.
Lastly, my poems have appeared in LUMINA, Scribendi, and last year a poem of mine placed second in The Atlantic magazine's Student Writing Contest. I'm an editor at Blue Mesa Review and we're always looking for new submissions in all genres.
Thanks for having me. I'll be posting!