An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

On Writing

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Cry Against War: Meeting Marione Ingram

A Cry Against War: Meeting Marione Ingram

“I lost it at Whole Foods today,” Marione Ingram confesses. She’s only been in the room for five minutes, and we are all already a little in love with her, so we lean in. “They were selling Passover cakes with train tracks drawn on them in […]

It’s Not All Relative

It’s Not All Relative

Let’s talk about relative pronouns. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance. To review: our most common relative pronouns include who/whom, whoever/whomever, whose, that, and which. Aside: The that versus which distinction is not an issue that threatens our way of life. That said, […]

The Power of Small Moments: A Conversation with Patricia Park

The Power of Small Moments: A Conversation with Patricia Park

Café recently interviewed Patricia Park, who will join AU’s MFA faculty this fall– if we don’t lose her to the beguiling world of actuarial science. CA: What are you drawn to write about? PP: I write about minorities within minorities. It’s “bad” enough when mainstream […]

Experiments in Self-Publishing

Experiments in Self-Publishing

“Thank you for sending us ‘Zakkai, Father of Yochanan.’ While we read your work with interest, unfortunately, we decided it’s not quite right for Menacing Hedge at this time. Please keep in mind that just because this particular work cannot find a home at the […]

Exit Memo: On Reading

Exit Memo: On Reading

As an essayist, I spend a lot of time reflecting on my experiences. In fact, I just wrote a whole thesis of reflections on different happenings in my life. However, for all the time I spend thinking about what in my life has happened, I […]

Comma Conundrum

Comma Conundrum

Surely, you’ve heard it all before. Heralded as a key mark for clarity, bemoaned as a pretentious rhythm breaking roadblock, the Oxford comma has sparked more eye-rolling debates than a piece of punctuation might deserve. To review, the Oxford comma (also called the serial comma, […]