One lasting gift I received from the Fairfield MFA was the life-long friendship forged with fellow students and professors, across the genres.
Program: MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry
Hometown: Huntington, NY
Honors/Awards: First Ever Recipient of the Fairfield University Graduate Achievement Award in Creative Writing 2011, First Ever Writer-in-Residence, Walt Whitman Birthplace 2009-2010, Scholarship to West Chester Poetry Conference 2010 and 2011, Scholarship to Southampton Writers Conference 2005, Fairfield University Gerard Manley Hopkins Prize in Poetry, 2001, Fairfield University Weber Scholarship 2001, Fairfield University Small Pond Prize in Poetry 2001, Long Island University/C.W. Post Poetry Center Prize 2002, Poets & Writers Amy Award 2008, member: Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Nu and Sigma Tau Delta, Fairfield University 2001, First Place Writer’s Digest Prize in Poetry, 2008
Home again at fairfield
My career has certainly evolved since becoming part of the first cohort of the Fairfield University MFA. When Program Director Michael White phoned and told me I was the first student accepted into the program, I loved the idea of being part of an inaugural class that would help shape the face of Fairfield’s MFA. I had graduated from Fairfield with a B.A. in English several years prior, so it was good to “come home” again in a sense. Yet, what a new and exciting home! I knew it would be wonderful to write in such a setting – the magic of a private island. I also quickly discovered that the cohort of which I was a part was an incredibly gifted one – my fellow students were smart, talented, and friendly. As new cohorts joined us, the same held true. The professors, luminaries in their fields, were approachable and generous. It has been an honor to work with them. One lasting gift I received from the Fairfield MFA experience was the life-long friendship forged with fellow students and professors, across the genres.
3rd semester opportunity
For my third semester project, I wrote an essay about Anne Bradstreet, the first published poet in America and the “Grandmother of American Literature.” While I was still a graduate student, this essay was accepted for publication on the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline which is an online archive of essays that is projected to become the largest database of Women Poets in the world. I was invited to present my research on Bradstreet on a panel at the West Chester Poetry Conference. I also had the honor of being the only scholar in the history of the conference who was simultaneously a student.
O – What an honor!
Since enrolling in the Fairfield MFA, I have become the first Writer-in-Residence of the Walt Whitman Birthplace (2009-2010), the founder and editor of String Poet: an online journal of poetry and the arts and the founder of a national poetry award, The String Poet Prize. I run a series of music and poetry events, the String Poet Studio Series, on Long Island, New York, pairing nationally-acclaimed poets with professional musicians. A feature story about this series was recently in the New York Times. I also founded the String Poet Women Writers of Tomorrow Prize, a national poetry contest for girls grades 3-12. In March 2011, I received the delightful news that the editors of O Magazine chose my poem “Breakable” out of thousands of submissions, as one of 12 featured poems on Oprah.com’s O, The Oprah Magazine’s Selection of Original Poetry, part of their celebration of Poetry Month.
The most exciting thing that has happened as an outgrowth of my time in the MFA program is that my FUMFA full-length poetry thesis: The Clock of The Long Now, has been accepted for publication by a prominent national poetry publisher, David Robert Books, an imprint of WordTech Communications. The projected release date is February 2012. I was also extremely honored to learn that I had been chosen as the first recipient of the Fairfield MFA Graduate Achievement Award.
ender’s island magic
To those of you planning to begin an MFA on Ender’s Island… prepare for limitless beauty, raw inspiration to which you will keep returning, and an island you will make your own.
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