The Not-So-New Newbie

The summer residency is almost here.  The MFA office is busy with all the glamorous work that makes a residency possible, packing envelopes, finalizing arrangements for room and board, answering panicked last minute questions, and just generally relying on our own personal wonder woman/admin, Paula.

Of course, this time around, we are officially doing this whole residency thing without our fearless leader, Rick Mulkey, who is on a well-deserved sabbatical.  This leaves the summer to the new Associate Director, me, Sarah Gray, and my new favorite person in the whole world, Denise Duhamel, who is my savior in addition to being a world-class poet.

It has occurred to me, however, that aside from the faculty and some of the alumni attending the MFA Alumni Days, none of our valued students know me from Adam’s house cat. (This is my favorite colloquialism/cliche.  Don’t take it away from me.)  But seriously, I am so excited (and humbled) to join Rick and all of the amazing faculty in the Converse MFA program, and I thought it might be nice to introduce myself.

Converse College is not new to me.  I began attending Converse as an undergrad at the ripe old age of twenty seven.  (Call me a late bloomer.)  I graduated in 2009 with a BFA in Creative and Professional Writing just as the new MFA low-residency program was starting up.  After being accepted into the very first fiction group, I attended my very first residency three weeks after my undergraduate graduation ceremony.

If you’re in the program, you know what that first residency is like: exciting, exhausting, terrifying, and the best nine/ten days ever.  Two years and a baby later, I was in the first graduating class of the program.  So long story short, I love Converse College and the MFA program, and I am highly invested in the success of the program and its participants.

As far as personal stats, I live in Greer with my husband, seven year old writer/first grade graduate, giant dog, and evil cat.  I turn 40 this year, and I expect a parade.  I read compulsively, and my tastes vary widely from literary fiction to graphic novels to historical fiction to memoirs.

So that’s pretty much it.  I can’t wait to see you all on campus.


I dug this old first residency photo out just for you.  Enjoy.