19 episodes

MFA Writers is the podcast where host Jared McCormack interviews creative writing MFA students about their program, their process, and a piece they’re working on.

MFA Writer‪s‬ Jared McCormack

    • Books
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

MFA Writers is the podcast where host Jared McCormack interviews creative writing MFA students about their program, their process, and a piece they’re working on.

    Danielle P. Williams — George Mason University

    Danielle P. Williams — George Mason University

    An MFA-sponsored trip to the Mariana Islands allowed Danielle P. Williams of George Mason University to reconnect with her ancestral culture. She sits down with Jared to discuss exploring Chamorro history through poetry, learning ancient language through translation, and meeting mentors and allies through her program.

    Danielle P. Williams is a Pushcart-nominated poet, essayist, and spoken-word artist from Columbia, South Carolina. She strives to give voice to unrepresented cultures, expanding on the narratives and experiences of her Black and Chamorro cultures. She is an Editorial Coordinator for Poetry Daily, the Poetry Editor for So To Speak, and a 2019 Alan Cheuse MFA Travel Fellow. Danielle is a 2020 Writing Workshop Fellow for The Watering Hole and 2021 Langston Hughes Fellow for Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems were selected for the 2020 Literary Award in Poetry from Ninth Letter. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, Juked Magazine, The Pinch, Barren Magazine, JMWW, The Hellebore, and elsewhere. She is the author of a self-published collection of poetry, The Art in Knowing Me, and two spoken-word EP's, At My Own Risk and We Fall Down. Find her at daniellepwilliams.com, on Twitter @dpwpoetry, or on Instagram @daniellepwilliams.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 51 min
    Sarah Ruth Bates — University of Arizona

    Sarah Ruth Bates — University of Arizona

    What’s it like to work on a research-driven nonfiction book in an MFA while freelancing on the side? Sarah Ruth Bates of the University of Arizona joins Jared to talk about how the nonfiction genre is more than memoir, how science and philosophy inform her work, and how pandemic writing can help us center our shared humanity.

    Sarah Ruth Bates is a second-year nonfiction MFA candidate at the University of Arizona, where she edits the program's student-run literary magazine, the Sonora Review, and teaches composition. She's also a writing instructor at Grub Street. Her work is published or forthcoming in the New York Times, Guernica, the Boston Globe Magazine, Aeon, Hobart, Essay Daily, Off Assignment, and elsewhere. Find her at sarahruthbates.com and on Twitter at @sarahrbates.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 47 min
    Bryan Byrdlong — Helen Zell Writers’ Program, University of Michigan

    Bryan Byrdlong — Helen Zell Writers’ Program, University of Michigan

    How is the zombie of Haitian folklore a poetic metaphor for how society treats Blackness? Bryan Byrdlong of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan tells Jared about his project on the traditional and modern conceptualization of zombies, how poetry can transcend fake news, and how his MFA program gave him an inner editorial voice.

    Bryan Byrdlong is a Black poet from Chicago, Illinois. In high school, he was part of Chicago’s Louder than a Bomb poetry slam competition. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he received an undergraduate English/Creative Writing degree and was the co-recipient of the Merrill Moore Award for Poetry upon graduation. He has been published in the Nashville Review, Heavy Feather Review, and Pleiades Magazine. Most recently, he received the Gregory Djanaikian Scholarship from The Adroit Journal. He is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan and a current Zell Fellow. You can find him on Twitter @BByrdlong.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 55 min
    Emily Holland — American University

    Emily Holland — American University

    Should I go straight into an MFA or take some time between degrees? Emily Holland of American University talks to Jared about how she decided to go back to school, how the structure of a poem influences the reader, and how she’s thinking creatively about the post-MFA job market.

    Emily Holland is a lesbian writer with poems appearing in publications including Nat. Brut, Homology Lit, bedfellows, and Wussy. She is the author of the chapbook Lineage (dancing girl press 2019). Her work has received support from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Currently, she is the editor of Poet Lore and the Editor-in-Chief of FOLIO at American University, where she is a second-year MFA student in poetry. You can learn more at her website emily-holland.com.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 50 min
    Kaj Tanaka — University of Houston

    Kaj Tanaka — University of Houston

    Have you ever wondered how contest winners are selected? Kaj Tanaka of the University of Houston takes us behind the scenes of Gulf Coast’s Barthelme Prize for Short Prose. He and Jared also talk about building tension in a story, careers in prison education, and what he learned from his BFA and MFA that influences his PhD work today.

    Kaj Tanaka is a PhD candidate in fiction at the University of Houston. His fiction has appeared in New South, The New Ohio Review, Joyland and Tin House. His stories have been selected for Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, and Wigleaf's top 50. Kaj teaches creative writing classes at the Harris County Jail in Houston, TX. He is the online reviews and interviews editor for Gulf Coast. Find him at kajtanaka.com or tweet to him @kajtanaka.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 56 min
    Michal “MJ” Jones — Mills College

    Michal “MJ” Jones — Mills College

    What’s it like to write a poem from the perspective of someone you despise? Michal “MJ” Jones of Mills College joins Jared to discuss their thesis project about the 2018 Hart family murders, writing from a place of anger, and pursuing an MFA as a working parent.

    Michal "MJ" Jones is a poet and parent in Oakland, CA. Their work is featured or forthcoming at Anomaly, Kissing Dynamite, and Borderlands Texas Poetry Review. They are an Assistant Poetry Editor at Foglifter Press, a journal curating queer and trans voices, and have fellowships from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, VONA/Voices, & Kearny Street Workshop. They are currently an MFA graduate fellow at Mills College. They can be found on Twitter @JustSayMJ and at their website michal-jones.com.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Echoluttion ,

Couldn’t be more of a fan if i tried

I listen to Jared’s podcast on my walks around the Bronx and on days when I’m not reading. It has been really insightful to listen to the phenomenal writers he brings on. They’re well-versed and well spoken, discussing the many facets of their writing processes and their programs! Thanks to the amazing advice within, I had the courage to apply to MFA programs and recently got accepted to a dream program. I’m eternally grateful for the way this podcast has prepared me not only for acceptance, but rejection as well as pacing in my writing life. Maybe one day I can speak on the podcast for my program and pay some of this immense gratitude back.

tnDownes ,

A+++

Excellent pod by generous host & producers featuring direct Q&A with MFA candidates & grads. Useful and insightful interviews offer perspective and direct info often missing from program sites. In the age of Covid without the benefit of AWP in-person, this podcast feels essential in the lead up to MFA program application season.

ImportantNinja537 ,

Wish I found this while applying to MFA’s.

This podcast has, no joke, become one of my favorite listens in the matter of days. If you feel an MFA is your true path, I beg you to lend an ear! I wish that I’d found this resource when I was applying to schools. The host ALWAYS knows the perfect questions to ask, and getting a perspective of different MFA programs straight from actual students feels invaluable.

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