I remember watching the poetry cohort before me hit the last semester of their MFA Poetry lives, and I hadn’t yet comprehended the emotions that would come. Now, in the same position, I am faced with the slow-arriving realization that I, too, will soon leave behind an incredible community of poets. However, I am also reminded that in the face of stress and great difficulty, we often forget the amazing world that surrounds us. Or, we don’t know what we have until it’s gone.
This slow ebbing fear begins to creep into my mind. I realize there are very few other places that I can go, as a poet, and find a shared love for the work. So, of course, it is scary to see the looming expiration date. However, as the last week of the penultimate semester comes to a close, I realize the community does not end but continues to flourish. In fact, one of the reasons to attend Columbia College Chicago, is because it prepares us to write for the rest of our lives, which has always been a dream of mine.
When I first realized I wanted to be a writer, my mother told me I would have to work the rest of my life. I think she meant financially, but I have always been a dreamer, and so I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I thought, I can write forever? I wrote the word over and over. I thought how the words “writing” “dreams” “imagination” “forever” all seemed to coincide in one galactic space of my mind.
Last week, I was clearing away some old notebooks. I was about to throw away my old Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) class notes, and I saw a small note written on the edge. It said, this class has taught me how to write for the rest of my life. It was the moment grad school no longer became a sanctuary to write, but my guru. It is my hope that if you attend Columbia College Chicago, you will find your guru, your inspiration, your dreams, and your community.