Urdu: Silk Road Qasida by Shadab Zeest Hashmi

A poem by alum Shadab Zeest Hashmi (poetry, ’09) appears at Knot Magazine:

Qasida of Cat Dreaming the Forbidden Mountain

Daybreak, a mist-filled coin purse
from the Caucasus
Or koh e qaaf— mountain named after the letter
tied to the throat’s sharp rock of death,
rouged floor, golden fleece
hung on the arm of the Greek god of War, gray breath
lifting from a choke-hold between a horned dev

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Writing for Your Life: A Conversation Between Robin Black & Natalie Serber

An interview between alums Natalie Serber (fiction, 2005) and Robin Black (fiction, 2005) appears at Bloom:

Natalie Serber: I met Robin Black in grad school in 2002 and listened with eager ears each time she raiseNatalie Serberd a question or offered an opinion in lectures and discussions. I would’ve been a bit intimidated by her intelligence and curiosity if it weren’t for her friendliness…however, I don’t remember her out on the dance floor at Warren Wilson’s famous, blow-off-steam dances!  I do remember she made a regular pilgrimage to a fortune teller in the woods.  Mysterious things happened at WW.  

Robin Black: My first memory of Natalie dates from a class, my first residency at Warren Wilson, but not hers. She asked a question about the “slowing down” of time in a final paragraph, a concept I had never imagined. A person could manipulate prose that way? After that, I would watch her knitting at readings, and wonder how I could learn what she already knew. Since graduate school, we have become close friends, speaking about w Robin Blackriting sometimes, but more often about life’s joys and challenges – and the way everything can turn in a moment for better and worse.

RB:  We both have new nonfiction books out, after publishing primarily fiction. And both of our books are centered around circumstances traditionally seen as fairly personal, even private. In Community Chest you write vividly and honestly about your experiences with breast cancer, including some decidedly intimate aspects. My new book discusses my struggles with emotional difficulties, including nearly two decades of agoraphobia. My own experience, though, is that in many ways fiction feels more exposing to me, than do essays, even about such personal experiences. With memoir, I have more control over what I reveal than I do with fiction, which in my case is never autobiographical, but always feels to me like showing people my dreams, exposing aspects of myself I don’t even know I am exposing. I was just wondering how all those notions of privacy and disclosure in the two forms play out for you, as you move between the genres.

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Reminder about Conference Scholarships

A reminder to anyone wishing to attend this year’s MFA Alumni Conference but who may need financial assistance to come, the deadline for scholarship applications is this Saturday, May 7. Details can be found at friendsofwriters.org.
Additionally, due to an oversight, for those wishing to secure a spot with an initial deposit, the amount of that deposit is $250.
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Five stories by Karen Brennan

Five short stories by faculty member Karen Brennan appear at Four Way Review:


A man told me there was nothing he would rather keep noticing—and he pointed to the spaces between palm fronds, chinks of turquoise and a few clouds. Just now, into this recollection, wanders an egg on a green dish.

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40th Anniversary Presentation Proposals!



40th Anniversary Coming Up!


We are organizing panel discussions for the 40th Anniversary celebration on June 28th. On the docket are two morning panels of alumni and faculty supervisors and an afternoon panel with alums alone.

We hope you’ll want to share something you valued in the back and forth with any of your supervisors. This might be a moment when a craft element began to make sense and enrich your work.  You might want to talk about a humorous moment of self-reflection, or an aspect of your relationship with your supervisor that allowed you to break through to a new understanding. You might want to talk about  a moment of frustration that later bore fruit.

We do hope you’ll share some of your wisdom with your colleagues. Please send a short proposal to us at ww.alumevent@gmail.com .

We need your material by May 15th.

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