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