Q&A with alum Zahra Marie Darby

I asked our class of ’10 alumni to answer a few questions about their experience at Rutgers now that they’ve had a few weeks–an eon in grad-school time–to reflect and get all sentimental and stuff. Hopefully those pursuing an M.F.A at Rutgers-Newark (or anywhere, really) can benefit from their infinite know-how.


KM: So did you learn anything?
ZD: “During my MFA I learned a deeper level of craft and the importance of reading contemporary writers like those invited to read at the Writers At Newark series.”

KM: Think your degree will be useful?
ZD: “I plan to use my MFA to build a career as a published poet and professor of humanities.”

KM: What’s one of the funniest/wisest/most bangin’ things you ever heard from a faculty member?
ZD: “The wisest thing I ever heard Rigoberto say was “My only advice is that you NEVER compromise your writing time.”

KM: So how’d the thesis writing go?
ZD: “The best part about writing a thesis was seeing my seeing my drafts become sharper in focus and skill. I really enjoyed printing it off and binding it at Staples as well—the joy of looking at the baby in your arms.”

KM: Got any advice for newbie MFAers?
ZD: “If I could say one thing to an incoming MFA student it would be NEVER COMPROMISE YOUR WRITING TIME. Also, from the heart, try to grow as a person and as a writer.”

KM: Are there any classes outside the CW department that you’d recommend?
ZD: “The best non-workshop class I took was Feminist Theory/Queer Studies because Fran Bartkowski shames graduate students into writing respectable essays regardless of “creative” agendas.”

You can find Zahra’s bio here

This entry was posted in Alumni, Interviews, Student Life, Uncategorized, writing life. Bookmark the permalink.

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