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First Residency

What to expect for your first residency in Louisville

Preparing for your first residency is easier if you know what’s ahead. We do our best to make your entry as smooth as possible.

Before residency, you’ll attend two orientations with Program Director Kathleen Driskell by videoconference. You’ll get tips on preparing for workshop and the chance to ask questions. If you can’t attend the meetings in person, no worries—they’re recorded, and you can view them when it’s convenient for you.

A few weeks before residency, we’ll post a “Residency Arrival Information” document on the portal, so you’ll know your first few moves, whether you fly into town or drive.

The big day! Welcome to Louisville. You’ll check in at the historic Brown Hotel and settle in. This afternoon, you’ll pick up your name tag at our registration table in the hotel lobby. MFA staff members will take you and your classmates on a brief walking tour of campus, just two blocks from the hotel.

Next, you’ll attend a new student orientation with MFA directors and staff. After that, it’s time for our opening dinner. You’ll sit with your workshop group, people you’ve already gotten to know a bit through reading their work. Before workshop begins, this is a chance to get to know each other in a relaxed setting.

Dinner leads right into our welcome session and Program Book/Script-in-Common discussion, when you’ll have the chance to share your thoughts and listen as other students and faculty have their say.

Over the next day or two, as residency kicks into high gear, you can opt into Dutch-treat small-group lunches or dinners, if you like. These dine-arounds provide another way to get to know people (and you won’t have to worry about finding a place to eat).

You’ll find that the daily schedule is full, even on the weekends. Here’s a sample schedule (PDF) of a typical residency day.

As part of our commitment to being a compassionate, supportive program, we provide free coffee and tea daily from our friends at Red Hot Roasters.

Free snacks, too. Lots and lots of snacks.