An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

Author: Editor in Chief

Introducing Nick Chhoeun

Introducing Nick Chhoeun

Café MFA is thrilled to welcome first-year MFA candidate Nick Chhoeun to our editorial staff. Nick is a first-year MFA candidate. His focus is fiction but he is also fascinated by poetry. He primarily writes short stories and wants to begin working on a novel. His other […]

Book Review: The Accusation

Book Review: The Accusation

By Vince Granata   “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” This, a familiar note in recent presidential refrains, came yesterday in an address to the U.N. During that speech, Trump also referred to Kim Jong-un as “Rocket man,” which, I […]

Literary Event: Tracy K. Smith’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Reading

Literary Event: Tracy K. Smith’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Reading

By Yohanca Delgado On Wednesday, September 13th, Pulitzer-prize winner Tracy K. Smith read as Poet Laureate for the first time. Before she took the stage, nineteen-year-old Amanda Gorman read as the first ever Youth Poet Laureate. National youth organization Urban Word regional finals across the […]

Book Review: Tales of Glamour and Fear in the Early Days of AIDS

Book Review: Tales of Glamour and Fear in the Early Days of AIDS

By Karen Keating When a mysterious disease began claiming young gay men’s lives in the early 1980s, the White House occupants of the decade, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, were silent. They remained silent for years as the death toll skyrocketed and pleas mounted for White […]

Visiting Writers’ Series: Richard Peabody of Gargoyle Magazine

Visiting Writers’ Series: Richard Peabody of Gargoyle Magazine

By Vince Granata   I’m not certain I’ve encountered a better description of a magazine than the following: Gargoyle has always been a scallywag magazine, a maverick magazine, a bit too academic for the underground and way too underground for the academics. Gargoyle Magazine, the […]

Ding Ding Ding!: Rejection Parties

Ding Ding Ding!: Rejection Parties

When I was fifteen, I was pretty sure I would be the next great horror writer. I wrote my first short story and boy-oh-boy did my teenage brain think that it was the best: An abused woman vomits up her heart, cooks it, feeds it […]

My Mother’s Books

My Mother’s Books

In keeping with my recent grammar–centric posts, this piece was initially going to be about long sentences. While researching a possible angle, I poured over celebrated sentences from Faulkner, Woolf, David Foster Wallace, sentences that span paragraphs, winding through all the light and dark spaces […]

Exit Memo: On Making it Happen

Exit Memo: On Making it Happen

On applying to graduate school in the first place: do it. On taking a workshop outside your genre, even though you’re still trying to find your footing in the genre you know and love: do it. On going to your professor’s office hours: do it. […]

Exit Memo: On Failing

Exit Memo: On Failing

I’ve been a writer for four years. Four years is not a long time, especially when one considers that three of those years were spent in an MFA program for creative writing. Do you know what four-year-olds do, often? They fail. Hard. Have you ever […]

On Voice and Genre

On Voice and Genre

Part of my journey is a writer is a constant striving to find a cadence that rings true — meaning that it rings me— across genres. Every form of communication has its own conventions, but good writing is good writing, right? Good writing is two […]