Continuing our series on life (and work) after the MFA, here’s a brevity by Christian Gullette, a recent graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. Most recently, a poem of his was chosen as one of the winners of Knockout Magazine’s Reginald Shepherd Memorial Poetry Prize. When not writing his own poems, Christian serves as the assistant poetry editor for The Cortland Review:
I think the artistic and academic value of my MFA was priceless. I feel like I really grew as both a creative and analytic writer in ways that would have taken much longer on my own. I went into my degree with the mindset that it was purely a craft degree and to put any other burdens on it would be setting myself up and the degree unfairly. It’s ultimately about the writing itself. I always distanced myself from the expectation that one pays to inherit automatic entree into a world one’s teachers spent decades creating for themselves sometimes poem by poem. For me, it was about learning to write the poems I wanted to write, and that was all.