IAS News

After the MFA: Sun, moon, wind, ocean - Talena Lachelle Queen and the poetry of art in community

Talena Lachelle Queen at the mic

By Natalie Singer (’16)

As a student who preceded me in the UW Bothell MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics, Talena Lachelle Queen was someone I heard about often during my time in the program but didn’t have the chance to meet until after we both had graduated. I was excited to interview Talena because to me, she represents the real-world successful example of how one can realize a practice and career in art-making and community leadership and advocacy. While writing poetry, teaching, and mothering, a juggle I also seek to balance, Talena has figured out how to activate the conversation around art, its purpose and potential, in her community. While she advances her own practice, she is driven by the motivation to make art a civic venture and the belief that communities need art to thrive. Here is an edited version of our interview ...

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After the MFA: The Trace Remains - Alumni in Conversation

By Andrew Carson (’16)

I recently had the opportunity to meet up over lunch with Lynarra Featherly and Sarah Baker, fellow alumni of the University of Washington Bothell MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics program. What resulted was a ranging conversation during which we discussed our MFA experiences, our lives now, and a few pertinent asides.

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After the MFA: Catching up with Colin McArthur

By Kaitlin C. Young ('16)

Shortly after he received his MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics, I ran into Colin (’15) at a reading at Folio, a private library in downtown Seattle. I remembered hearing him read pieces of his thesis—a beautifully written and ambitious start to a novel— at the MFA Salons.

Around the same time Colin was reading at those salons, Seattle City of Literature was in the news for two reasons.

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After the MFA: Good things come in small portions

By Natalie Singer-Velush ('16)

The time spent as a student in an MFA program, especially the early months, can be overwhelming. There are never enough hours to read, to spend with new ideas, to fulfill the requirements of the program, and also follow our own newly developing inquiries and impulses. The time, conversely, is often also highly charged artistically: These new ideas, however demanding and sleep-depriving, activate a desire to engage deeply with language and art and the process of making and investigating these.

One group of IAS’s MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics students responded to that charge by launching a micropress, a project that has evolved as its instigators have, and which has provided space for the incubation and expression of art and ideas within the realm of the program and, now, beyond.

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