An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

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Thank You, Stan Lee

Thank You, Stan Lee

By Nick Chhoeun There is one thing people can talk about across generations: superheroes. From Spiderman to—my favorite—Wolverine these superheroes inspire and amuse the minds of the young and old alike. Stan Lee, the creative leader/writer of Marvel comics, is the man behind these superheroes. […]

Back to Basics

Back to Basics

By Nick Chhoeun This past summer I had the opportunity to teach Creative Writing for two months to students from fifth grade to freshmen in high school. As a whole, the experience was a mixture of “why am I doing this” and “I’m doing this […]

Exit Memo

Exit Memo

By Vince Granata  Sometimes, I think of reflective thought like a muscle, like an easy to neglect part of my brain. Without exercise, without training, this thought muscle will atrophy, wither away. I worry—too often, almost constantly—that if I don’t pause to reflect, don’t work […]

Gender-Neutral Author Names

Gender-Neutral Author Names

By Nick Chhoeun I recently came across a segment on BBC News titled “Why Some Male Authors Are Hiding Their Gender.” In the segment, author Allison Pearson talks about male authors going by gender-neutral names. We are familiar with writers like Mary Ann Evans going […]

Until We Grow Into The Mountain: An Interview with Duende District’s Angela Maria Spring

Until We Grow Into The Mountain: An Interview with Duende District’s Angela Maria Spring

By Yohanca Delgado I first met Angela Maria Spring just over a year ago, when I was hosting the Artomatic literary open mic and wandered into her very first pop-up. We became fast friends and watching Duende District explode from a Kickstarter campaign to a DC-brand […]

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 […]

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 […]

I’m Appositive I Have A-Problem

I’m Appositive I Have A-Problem

  Everyone has a writing tick, a repetitious practice that can become like a written accent. At best, these idiosyncrasies establish distinct voice and compelling narrative style. At worst, a writing tick catches in the reader’s ear like the incessant “like” of an 80’s Valley […]

Some New Possibilities of Being: A Brief Tour of Ada Limón’s Poetry

Some New Possibilities of Being: A Brief Tour of Ada Limón’s Poetry

  If you read this past week’s New Yorker, you have seen Limón’s latest poem. If you didn’t, you can read it here: “The Burying Beetle.” What I appreciate most about Limón as a poet is her openness. Her collections vary significantly in voice and theme, but they all share […]

Looking Forward to AWP

Looking Forward to AWP

  The AWP Conference & Bookfair is upon us, and to say that the number of options is overwhelming would be an understatement. The editorial staff of Café has rounded up a few panels that we wouldn’t dream of missing, plus some other tips and tricks for […]