I know, I know. I turned in my thesis and all my job applications, but things are still crazy. But good. I got a job interview coming up that I’m excited for—I bought a suit this morning. I have an essay and an article due in the next few weeks, a poetry project, and I’ve been submitting poems and manuscripts to journals and presses. Em and I are waiting to see if we’re moving or staying in Chicago. AND the new issue of Columbia Poetry Review has shipped and the editors have looked through it—we are so proud! It looks beautiful, and the work inside is stellar. It’s a real representation of our voices as editors. Couldn’t be happier!
When I finally decided to come to Columbia College Chicago and got in, I couldn’t decided what I wanted to do. I asked Em whether I should be an editorial assistant in the summer for Court Green, or work year long as an editorial board member (then the next year as an editor) for the Columbia Poetry Review. I knew I wanted to work for CPR but part of me was second guessing EVERYTHING. In the end I decided on CPR, because it was one of the big reasons I applied to graduate school here. This was one of the first journals I submitted to like ten years ago, and one that I read frequently.
I think this is something that relates to some of my sentiments about graduate school—you really need to do everything you can in graduate school to put you at the top of the pack when you graduate. Look, I firmly believe that graduate school is not here to get you a career. I think, for teaching and editing in many cases, that it’s a destination on the way toward a career, but it’s not a means to an end. Grad school is about the experience, and about the community. It’s not a capitalist move—an MFA in Poetry is extremely anti-capitalist. That is mostly because the job market is so crazy right now, but also because these programs are not professionally focused. They aren’t about GETTING JOBS, they’re about working on your craft and developing, etc.
So if you can, work as an editor or editorial assistant. Intern at places that relate to your craft. Be a part of the community and the ones surrounding the college. You’ll produce things you’ll be extremely proud of. I’ve produced many, but the most recent is this new issue.
I know, I know. I turned in my thesis and all my job applications, but things are still crazy. But good. I got a job interview coming up that I’m …