Graduate Student Profile: Ann O’Connell

Submitted by Web Communications on July 12, 2011

The gardens at Enders … provide me with the space I need to think about my craft.

 

Ann O’Connell ’11

Hometown: Bridgeport, CT

Program: MFA in Creative Writing

what’s your favorite spot on enders island?

The residency at Enders Island is an intense, writing-based community. Students are constantly surrounded by writers and writing: in workshop, in the dining hall, in the dorms, and at the readings. Wherever you are, people are talking, shouting, joking, and (occasionally) singing about writing. The gardens at Enders are a refuge from all that noise. They are lush in summer and stark in winter, but I love them whatever the season, because they provide me with the space I need to think about my craft. After a day of intense workshops and seminars, the breathing room offered by the gardens allows me to really metabolize what I learned in workshop.

What do your photos of Enders bring most to mind?

When I look at these photos, I’m back in July 2009, and I’m starting my first residency with the Fairfield University MFA program. I’m excited, terrified, a little starstruck by my professors, and a little shy about meeting my fellow students. Taking pictures was a way for me to deal with my anxiety, and get to know both the island and the program.

which setting most inspires you to write?

I am most inspired to write in crowded places with lots of noise: subways, bars, clubs, coffeehouses, restaurants, city streets, or any place where a band is playing. When it’s too loud for conversation, my thoughts turn inward and I just want to write.

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