Guest Blog | Undergrad creative writing major enjoys chance to attend MFA in Writing lectures

Allison Campbell

One privilege of being a student in Spalding’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program  is that I can attend some of the lectures of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program during its residencies. During the MFA fall residency, which took place Nov. 10-18, I attended two lectures.

The first was titled, “1798: Poetry’s Punk Moment: Lyrical Ballads With A Few Other Poems,” and was given by MFA program director Kathleen Driskell, who is an award-winning poet. The lecture was very relevant to me at the time because I was taking a Romanticism class during which we studied many of the poems that were mentioned in Driskell’s lecture. It was exciting for me to hear the information I learned as a BFA creative writing student being applied in an MFA lecture. Attending the lecture made me appreciate my BFA class even more because I could see the value of what I was learning. The “punk” aspect of the lecture was taken from a quote by a Guardian book reviewer and referred to the influential and liberal language used by poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge during the age of Romanticism. Wordsworth and Coleridge were essentially hippies or punks because of the way they looked at the world differently.

LEARN MORE | Spalding’s BFA in Creative Writing program

LEARN MORE | Spalding’s MFA in Creative Writing program

The second lecture I attended was, “What Happened to My Essay? How to Survive Writing for Magazines,” by Cathy Medwick. Medwick is former senior editor at Vogue and Vanity Fair, so she really knew what she was talking about. This lecture was very informative — I took a full page of notes. Even though I am fairly new to creative nonfiction and have not written very many essays that could be published, I found it valuable to hear how to deal with editors and the process of submission.

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Being able to participate in the MFA residency was a great way to learn new information while being exposed to what an MFA program is really like. The experience made me want to go to grad school even more to further my education. I am always looking for ways to improve my writing, so I really appreciated this awesome opportunity.

Allison Campbell is a senior in Spalding’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.