Student Ambassadors

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell.  The Student Ambassadors are current graduate students in the MFA program who have volunteered to connect with prospective and newly admitted students and answer any questions you may have about the student experience. Read more about our Student Ambassadors below and feel free to reach out directly to them by emailing

Meet the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics Student Ambassadors

Sarah Baker, 2013 Cohort

I studied people and language through the lenses of anthropology and linguistics as an undergraduate in California, all the while taking traditional poetry writing workshops. I have experimented with digitally animating my words and using different multimedia to accompany poetry. I am interested in form, constraint, error, the untold and finding the body in poetry.

I am happy I found this program because of how it encourages experimentation and provides a context of challenging theory and contemporary writing. Now, I feel more prepared to use my knowledge and experience in my writing, never without ideas or inspiration, and ready to express why it even matters. Most of all, I’m excited about the writing community I have become more connected to—through faculty, fellow students, and the literary circles of Seattle.

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Laura Burgher, 2013 Cohort

I primarily write short lyric prose and poetry, and I am interested in exploring public presentations of poetry and the creation of book as art. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the theoretical exploration and artistic experimentation encouraged in this program, and I now have a broad repertoire of techniques I can apply to my writing. In my poetics work I have been examining dreams, secrets, the body, and the places where personal and cultural histories intersect. My creative work deals with chance, distance and closeness (emotional and geographical), the relationship between writer and reader, and the different ways language is constructed cross-discipline. A fascination with language, and the ways it can be played with, underlies much of my writing.

This program has been wonderful in encouraging me to gain experience in all of my writing interests and pursuits, including opportunities for teaching and tutoring on campus. Also, with the resources and incredible support of the MFA, a number of students and I were able to begin our own literary journal. I have found the faculty and visiting writers to be invaluable in integrating me into the writing community.

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Lynarra Featherly, 2013 Cohort

I am interested in questions of time and space, agency and affect, muck and ethereality, the way they allow for or constrain movement, position us beyond what is possible in our everyday use of language, allow us to expand or restrict time and space. For now, I have some beginning sense of the dialectical possibilities found between freedom and constraint, between anarchy and culture—to be with or without words. I joined this MFA program with some interests in phenomenological psychology, questions of crisis and communication, exteriority and interiority, and more generally what it means to be ‘in a family’ (and other forms of sociability) over time. My year at the Appalachian Center for Craft (emphasis wood) also left me with a set of questions about “material.”

My writing interests and commitments took a sharp turn during the winter quarter of my first year, a turn that allowed me to take up the question of linguistic material more specifically. I went from short-form experimental memoir to conceptual poetry, from a thick and somewhat veiled expressive writing to constraint-based poetry and erasure. That change was rooted in what strikes me as the program’s commitment to a certain model of what it means to pursue an MFA in writing: rather than a singular focus on craft and making, on immediate judgment and critique, the program also directs our attention toward language itself, both theoretically and practically. The faculty all have serious and differing commitments, which creates an atmosphere of productive and friendly tension and prevents the program from developing any unified ideological position. Right away, we were asked to set prior practice aside, to learn to be wide open to new forms and complex theoretical positions. By the end of the first year, many of us found ourselves up to something quite different than we’d expected, having learned along the way to take up our own writing as theoretically interesting.

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Travis Sharp, 2013 Cohort

I’m an artist working with poetry, experimental prose, cross/post-genre writing, and book arts. With and through all of these I am engaged in text-as-object, in the materiality of what is written, in the writing of the self, and in post-genre art. My research interests focus on intersectionality, specifically between cultural and literary theory, gender and queer studies, postcolonialism, and Marxism.

I don’t care much for genre ideology, for the distinctions between poetry, prose, and non-fiction that often serve to separate and restrain artistic endeavors. I am engaged with all of these forms simultaneously, and the MFA program has greatly facilitated this through its atmosphere of open possibility and its engagement in diverse inquiries. Being part of an MFA program that doesn’t divide students according to pre-selected genre has allowed me and my art to grow in unexpected ways, as has the MFA’s dual focus on creative practice and critical theory.

My favorite part of being in this program is the diversity of my cohort’s and the faculty’s backgrounds and voices: a diversity of opinion that provides continual encouragement of growth.

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