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Megan Mann: graduate student, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at West Virginia Wesleyan College. When my friends come to visit they have this impression of “Minnesota Nice” and assume everyone is sweet and earnest and maybe a little bit slow. I went out West for grad school, and there I was able to write about Chicago and discovered from that distance what visuals remained, for whatever reason: driving up the entrance ramp onto Lake Shore Drive, heading downtown, when the skyline is lit in a wall before you, the lake on the left in total darkness. I’m trying not to know stuff—I’m convinced that “knowing” is also a form of appetite and the best thing I can do is just feel and intuit my way through the darkness rather than construct well-lit rooms where theories based on current facts turn to nonsense. If so the question then becomes not how do we fix it but how do we live in the space around it—how do we accept hunger as the necessary cornerstone of existence while at the same time learning to love and honor one another? If you think it’s confusing you should talk to W. I’ve spent a lot of time with Stuart Dybek’s “Nighthawks,” especially the “Transport” section where he incorporates so many literary devices; it’s magical. I also spent some time in Nebraska for the University of Nebraska low-res MFA program. If I find myself wanting to read it aloud, that’s a good sign. Discuss your writing process — inspirations, ideal environments, pay to write college essay how you deal with writer’s block. The people in my immediate life worked nonstop. So the Muse has had a direct impact on my decision to attend graduate school. In addition to offering writing classes, The Muse is a resource center and a place for all writers in the Norfolk, Virginia (Hampton Roads, VA) area to come together, share ideas, and figure out what language can hold. I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little kid. His collection of Ohio-based short stories, Caves of the Rust Belt, will be published by Tortoise Books in October 2018.

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When I was in college, Iowa had a big impact on me as well. Can you speak about this relationship, and what personal significance it holds for you as a person and writer? The experience at the Muse is the reason I’m going to school. Occasionally, can someone write my personal statement it’s tinkering, but much of the time my revisions are so extensive a final draft looks nothing like the first draft. I will always be grateful to Minneapolis for that. After college, I returned to Chicago, best mfa creative writing programs usa where I currently reside. Congratulations to our 2014–2015 Winners! Many early drafts of these poems were part of my MFA thesis for the University of Nebraska. JK: That’s a very insightful point, mfa creative writing snhu and one that eluded me for quite a while. But again—when hunger is the driving force behind existence it takes an amazing amount of desperation and/or character and/or practice to trust into the goodness of the totality and believe that what is happening right now is not big picture real and not the truth but a lie fueled by consensual turning away. This is the hardest question for me to answer. This is a complete generalization, but I have always felt the people to be so hardy. What an anomaly, especially when flying into and out of O’Hare, to see this abrupt assembly of buildings.

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You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages. We will award funding at levels determined by need and available funds. It's been wonderful getting feedback from the other students. Nick Hill, who is attempting the Herculean effort of translating some of this work into Spanish, which is very precise about pronouns. I could go on and on. Some of the work I’ve seen published online lately is incredible too: “Annihilation” by Celia Bell (Virginia Quarterly Review) and “All of Us Animals” by Annie Frazier (Longleaf Review) come to mind because it feels like every word works so hard. In terms of future writing projects, I have been writing many poems lately on pregnancy and early motherhood as well as poems about my family’s connections to Chicago. How the lines relate to one another. I refer to this as Jack Kerouac syndrome in that it’s almost a cliche for young writers to lose themselves out on the highway in order to bring back something found in the ditches along the way. I loved the old houses in neighborhoods where my family no longer lived, do my college homework and I imagined the people who occupied them. JW: Making time to write is one of my biggest challenges, mostly because I have two young children. What a mistake. It collected a dozen rejections.

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I’m a stay-at-home parent and my kids were finally old enough and independent enough for me to focus again on my first love, poetry. Find her at For lots of reasons. Otherwise, I walk our little dog, tend the gardens—hang with my friends, practice yoga and enjoy the gift of having the beautiful and truly amazing Nöle Giulini as my partner on this wave. I felt the entire time and still do as the fourth book wobbles toward the finish line that I was being presented with a new way of looking at an ancient—perhaps inceptional mythology that was born at the exact moment the universe came into being. Iowa is beautiful and my experiences there occasionally pop up in my poetry. My goals usually include something like, “write a new poem” or “revise two poems from last month” or “provide feedback on my writing partner’s poem.” I am often inspired by reading poems, so I always read before I write, usually for about twenty minutes. The dream kept coming back in more detail narrated by a strange voice. The Muse Writers Center's projects, classes, and events are made possible in part through sponsorship by the City of Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities. I have two other stories, in Consequence Magazine and Lunch Ticket, both important literary magazines covering the culture of war, and social justice issues, respectively.

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You can check out my website and follow me on Twitter @jippensen. JC: You spent two years in the undergraduate poetry workshop at the University of Iowa. I’m trying to answer these questions at a personal level—not just conceptually. They challenge, support, motivate, and inspire me. I’d never done that before. I like poetry that has energy and feels urgent.