Sunday, August 15, 2010

MFA Time

Tomorrow we'll have the departmental welcome/welcome back lunch at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. We'll probably eat sandwiches or bland Indian food or middling Mexican. They will buy too many Cokes, which will be fine by me because I Can Always Drink More Cokes. Maybe someone will make a speech (I don't remember; I don't think so). If they do we will clap, though we are not glad. If they don't we will not clap though we are glad. School will begin Thursday. Thursday morning I will teach creative writing for the first time. Thursday afternoon I will have contemporary American poetry, which will fulfill my lit requirements for my time here. (Read: I will never take another lit class.)

I have occasional urges to post something about the MFA experience as I've felt it, and MFA culture as I know it, but it strikes me as ultimately too inside-baseball. And I wouldn't know what to say. There are probably better ways to learn about writing, but they don't have university funding and you wouldn't get to teach. Whatever I feel about MFAing I do love teaching. Writers, as much as anyone, have trouble remembering to be excellent to one another. Writers believe they are sensitive and observant. Writers are, in my experience, often tricked out in leather skin and a thousand yards of dead nerves. Writers like to talk about community. In my experience, writers often believe (mistakenly) that being generous to each other will take too much of their time and energy. But kindness replenishes. Uncanny Valley costs me money and time. Uncanny Valley replenishes me. I am grateful to edit this will-be magazine. I am grateful to be a friend to other writers, and when they (you) are friends to me.


  1. Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes. Best of luck this semester.

  2. Yeah, best. Teaching a CW course would be an incredible journey. I imagine it would be, for me at least, like piloting an out of control ice cream cart along a jagged precipice and smashing into potholes but having dreamsicles and bomb pops bounce up into the cab unwrapped and ready to go.

    At least all of your students will really want to be there.

  3. Hope you have fun!

    I think it'd be neat if you blogged on your contemp. poetry class--your impression of the works, what you've learned, etc.