Marginalia, Graduate Blog

The Torch Has Been Passed

Brian Miles

I feel like a second year now. I mean, pretty much. As I write this, I am in the last week of classes, having just watched the second years do a farewell reading at The Beauty Bar in Noble Square. They each read four poems, and now that that is done, it’s pretty much just Manifest, graduation, and the rest of their lives.

Once the thesis was in, though, it seemed that most of them were pretty much ready to have their MFA and get on with it, even if “it” is still fairly uncertain (which is OK and true for most of the graduates I believe). Between that and my limited interactions with some of the incoming class (about whom I am very excited!) it just feels like I’ve stepped up to the senior class already. I’m already an editor for Columbia Poetry Review!

I feel good about that. My poetry has taken massive leaps and bounds in the past 8 months, and I’m ready to pound out a couple projects over this summer and try and get some publications. I don’t know how much better my first year in the MFA program could have gone in terms of artistic growth.

I think that’s always the fear: that you will find yourself graduating from the MFA program after 2 years and not have grown enough as an artist. That was my fear when I enrolled and started. “Maybe I’m just not talented enough for this.” Never making it. You hear all this about the competitiveness of the industry, and you wonder if you will ever fit in.

I think, though, that this is a good place, and I definitely feel that I’m in a good place right now. Watching the faces of and talking to the second years, I think most of them feel pretty good as well.

The Torch Has Been Passed

I feel like a second year now. I mean, pretty much. As I write this, I am in the last week of classes, having just watched the second years do …

Creative Writing - Poetry MFA Brian Miles, brian.c.miles@gmail.com
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience