People

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 mfaamb@uw.edu.

Meet the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics Student Ambassadors

Woogae Bae, 2017 Cohort

Woogae BaeI write poetry precisely because I believe in language in flux. On the page, in our everyday speech. I’m interested in the tug and pull of language, in what happens when we provoke linguistic boundaries, meddle with and cross borders, refuse translation, resist the constraints of a standard (English) language. As well as the physicality of speech, through breathing spitting coughing choking stretching the mouth unhinging the jaw. More recently, I’ve grown interested in the connections between language and waste—how neither ever go away, but evolve over time, persist. How they come back to us in both monstrous and transformative ways. To then think of language as a site of tension, as spills, as potential, as mobile. Poetry asks us to question our surroundings and to imagine alternate possibilities of being and living in the world. Bothell provides us the space to be curious and weird and unruly. 

Contact me at mfaamb@uw.edu.


dana middleton, 2017 Cohort

dana middletonWhen the CIA funneled resources into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in the 1940s-70s, they aimed to use literature to produce a culture of individualism and materialism and to steer intellectual readers away from socialism and communism. Many Iowa Writer’s Workshop alums went on to establish their own MFA programs, and now there are over 200 in the U.S. One way to understand this trajectory is to say that contemporary MFA programs come from a lineage of cultural and political manipulation. I’m bringing this history to my role as a student ambassador because I believe everything is political, whether or not it claims to be. The past is constantly returning. I write poetry because I enjoy the process of creating it, and also because I want my political praxis to include play, creative subversion, and speculative spaces.

UW Bothell’s MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics has offered me room to explore, expand, and mix ideas into a variety of creative forms—experimental translation, research-based poetry, poet’s theater, voice recording and manipulation, collaborations with a text generator, and on—that have changed the ways I approach my usual topics of queerness, gender, the state and capitalism, technology, control, and time. One of the most exciting things about being in this program is that I’m surrounded by people with different politics— and we can connect, appreciate each others’ work, and offer varying perspectives. That feels rare and necessary among our individualized/polarized internet feeds and is a constant reminder of the new formations we can bring to each other in creative, critical and intentional spaces. Despite the pressure to recede into protective cultural isolation, I want to continue questioning what is comfortable, normalized, and expected with you all so that we can make dynamic choices in our writing and engage things beyond the page & screen. 

Contact me at mfaamb@uw.edu.