So, in case my readers haven’t noticed, I’ve been out of commission for a couple of weeks. I just completed the second residency in my MFA program, and I must say, the organizers are really starting to get things figured out. During the last residency, it seemed like we spent a great deal of time “spinning our wheels;” that is, we were in sessions and seminars that were remotely connected to our literary lives, but in some ways, felt distant or disconnected. Not this time. I can honestly say that each day was filled with relevant, rigorous, real events and activities that helped everyone there, whether they wrote fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Some sessions were universal: They offered writing advice that spanned across all genres, and every writer walked away feeling inspired and refreshed by the voices of experience presented.
As our new batch of students arrived, old acquaintances and MFA novices got to share in several worthwhile excursions, from the literary history of the Don CeSar hotel to the surreal imaginings of Salvador Dali at the museum bearing his name in St. Pete. Readings given by guest authors varied in quality, as is usually the case. Some poets and writers brought a unique voice and a dynamic presence to the program, while others simply showed up to hear themselves talk.
All in all, however, the agenda this time was filled with worthwhile material — I walked away inspired to ply my craft in new and more refined ways, and am anxious to get going on another semester’s body of poetry. January waits!