A.J. Odasso (ajodasso) wrote,
A.J. Odasso

Letters from the front-lines of MFA Land

As many of you know via my Patreon page, I'm currently a Teaching Fellow and MFA (Creative Writing: Poetry) Candidate at Boston University. I had meant to start blogging more faithfully here once classes started, but the truth of the matter is, four weeks in, I'm completely swamped with work (and therefore completely exhausted). I'm not sure why I found blogging while I was in grad school the first time around in the UK so much easier; my archives on this account are full of personal-essay-like stories of my years discovering England. I'd like to think I have such things to say about Boston, as I've only been back here for a few years now (only to be leaving for England again next summer), but it somehow feels like too-familiar ground. My love letters to Boston are much further back in the archive of this journal, as I wrote them while I was an undergraduate at Wellesley.

My classes started on August 27th. This semester, I'm taking the two core Poetry Workshops (one with Robert Pinsky, one with Karl Kirchwey) plus a course in Creative Nonfiction (taught by Bill Loizeaux). I won't be teaching undergraduates till the spring, so I've had some time to mess around with one of my former UK teaching syllabuses in order to make it functional in a Creative Writing context (the reading selections in poetry, fiction, and drama, I'm pleased with, so those will change very little). I've missed teaching a great deal. My class size here won't be much different from the class sizes I had at York, so that's also reassuring.

I've been remiss in sending out submissions, too, although I did sell three poems to SWAMP; I think those will be coming out in October, so watch this space. I have maybe two submissions out with other journals at the moment, but they aren't journals in my usual milieu by any stretch. They're journals with which I've traditionally had as little luck as anyone else in the SF/F/Spec community, but it's high time I tried them again.

I'm finding more time to read things (that aren't poetry) just for the sake of reading again, which is a pleasure I'd left by the wayside some time ago. I demolished this 534-page book in 48 hours, and that's on top of the intense class-work schedule in which I'm currently enmeshed. Whether you're autistic or not, read it. I haven't read anything so compellingly informative in years. In the meantime, I'm tweeting a lot. Come say hi.
Tags: autism spectrum, bu mfa, poetry, teaching discussion, writing for my afternoon tea
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