m a r g i n a l i a

notes from a creative writing PhD candidate

on reading for phd comprehensive exams

“The PhD is the best gift you will ever give yourself.” Author Roxane Gay gave us–a group of fangirling, bushy-tailed creative writing PhD candidates–this tiny morsel of encouragement last year … Continue reading

July 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

my first month as a creative writing PhD candidate

Well…that was rough. I’ve just completed my first month as a PhD candidate in the English/Creative Writing program at the University of Missouri.  I took a couple years off after … Continue reading

September 17, 2015 · 2 Comments

a conversation with writer j.c. hallman, author of b & me

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of spending an afternoon at Open City, a diner and bar in D.C., in the company of writer J.C. Hallman, author of six books of … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

teaching food studies: article/essay hits and misses

This past semester I moved up the academic ranks from teaching First Year Composition to Advanced Composition, where I have a bit more freedom in regards to selecting texts.  Since … Continue reading

April 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

six month hiatus: from adjunct to term faculty to PhD student

It’s been half a year since I last posted on my blog–far too long, really, and I can’t believe I’ve fallen into such a rut in regards to posting on … Continue reading

April 5, 2015 · 2 Comments

the corporate extraction: goodbye stock market, helloooo academia!

I’MDONEI’MDONEI’MDONEI’MDONEI’MDONEEEEEEEEE! Ten months of sitting in front of two glaring computer monitors, planting myself in a chair for eight stressful nonstop hours, ninety-minute dirty metro rides twice a day, shoveling lukewarm yogurt … Continue reading

July 28, 2014 · 1 Comment

already possessed: why, only 10 pages in, i can’t get enough of elif batuman

Possessed: what an astute name for the way we can become completely entranced by a book.  It happens quickly; it only takes a few pages, or paragraphs, for us to … Continue reading

July 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

the blog hop: commentary on the writing process

My talented writer friend, former MFA workshop mate, and colleague at Phoebe and The Breeze, Will, tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Hop.  He answered four questions about how … Continue reading

June 25, 2014 · 3 Comments

when the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.

Academia has been my world for the past eight years; I graduated college with a degree in English and Anthropology, completed a Fulbright, and dove headfirst into an MFA program in Creative … Continue reading

June 9, 2014 · 1 Comment

found poetry | reframing spaces and lines to impart new meaning

A talented creative writing student of mine taught me how to write a “found” poem.  She showed me a marked-up page of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, a favorite book of hers, and then … Continue reading

June 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

jhumpa lahiri, “trading stories: notes from an apprenticeship”

Books, and the stories they contained, were the only things I felt I was able to possess as a child. Even then, the possession was not literal; my father is … Continue reading

May 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

love & death in the balkans: brkic’s “the stone fields”

“What is a moment of death compared to a lifetime of it?” Book Review: Courtney Angela Brkic’s The Stone Fields, 2005 The Stone Fields alternates between a chronological historical recounting of Brkic’s father’s family … Continue reading

May 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

“meditations in an emergency” – frank o’hara

“I’ve got to get out of here.” Meditations in an Emergency Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? Or religious as if I were French? Each … Continue reading

May 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

sylvia plath’s “the rival”

We all know someone like this, don’t we?  Nailed it, Sylvia.   The Rival If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression Of something beautiful, … Continue reading

May 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

a summer reading list

A book a week: that’s my summer reading goal.  A fast reader by nature, I can usually manage a few hundred pages a week; I read two hours a day on the … Continue reading

May 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

to what degree?: MA in english lit vs. MFA in creative writing

It took a single haphazardly chosen elective to alter the course of my academic path.  In the final semester of my senior year at James Madison University I enrolled in my first creative … Continue reading

May 14, 2014 · 4 Comments

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