Tonight, a number of students are graduating from my MFA alma mater, Pine Manor College’s Solstice MFA Program in Creative Writing. I want to congratulate fiction writer Gloria Estela Gonzalez, creative nonfiction writer Erin Lawler, poet Jasmine Jina Ortiz, fiction writer Joe Gannon, and all of the other talented, hard-working students who will finally hold those diplomas in their hands tonight.
I appeared on a panel at the program this afternoon called “After the MFA,” during which a number of alums discussed what life is like after you finally finish those four (or more) tough semesters (thank you, fellow graduate Faye Snider, for organizing and mediating the panel). We talked about a lot of things, including the challenges of no longer having built-in deadlines and a built-in writing community, and the many opportunities there are, if you seek them out, to maintain a writing life and stay involved in the literary community.
But tonight, all that matters to the graduating students is three simple words.
“I DID IT!”
Congratulations to you all!