Our Current MFA Students
Ashley Roach-Freiman (Poetry, '16): "I took a big risk quitting a full-time job to pursue poetry more seriously, but what I've learned is that the MFA is about so much more than writing (though it is certainly about that). My experiences—joyful or fraught—as a comp teacher, and even more so as Pinch editor, have shaped me personally and professionally in ways I couldn't have hoped for otherwise. As for the time to write, the imposed deadlines and the opportunity to meet other writers who are interested in discussing poetics, imagery, and form: not only have I found all of this here, but I've also met people who were willing to help me shape and understand my identity as a writer. One of the best things about this program is how truly supportive my peers have been. The faculty is great as well, and it's hard to imagine life in the future without the mentors I've found here, all willing to give me solid advice about nearly anything, and who have become extensions of my family. Most importantly is that I feel ready to graduate and do my own thing, which is the mark of a good program." Ashley's chapbook, Bright Along the Body, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in November of this year.
- Ashley on the web
- Ashley's Awards
- Nominee, Pushcart Prize, 2015
- Nominee, AWP Intro to Journals Award, 2015
- Ruth and Henry Loeb Scharff Scholarship, U of Memphis, 2015
- Creative Writing Concentration Award, Poetry, U of Memphis, 2015
- Creative Writing Service Award, U of Memphis, 2015
- Academy of American Poets Deborah Talbot Prize, U of Memphis, 2015
- Nominee, AWP Intro to Journals Award, 2014
Anthony Larry (Fiction, '18): "I was back home, working and worrying about the next step my life would take. Initially, writing was not in my plans but I have learned so much in just two short semesters. Being around people who have the same goals and being able to help them achieve it has made the MFA worthwhile. It's been a delight to interact with writers at different levels and learn from great voices who help strengthen my own writing. The faculty have done a great job of making me feel included and have helped me think of writing in fresh ways. I plan on working hard and enjoying the experience the program has to offer."
- Anthony's Awards:
Peter Hogan (Poetry, '18): "It's never an easy thing explaining to people that you're getting a MFA in Poetry. Most people have no idea what that is or why it even matters. What I love about the program here is that a writer is at home. There's a strong sense of community, a variety of creative voices bouncing off one another, perspectives that one might not get outside of the program. There is true investment in one another's work. We all want to make one another better, not only as writers, but as critics and scholars of good writing. If someone is serious about writing, this kind of environment is the perfect place for it."