Feed on

I’ve grown suspicious of framing any sort of disagreement as war. Hyperbole and metaphors are nothing new to the poet and Internet lurker. But equating events to armed conflict that aims to or finds it acceptable to extinguish lives is often an act of excessive force. Like war and its weapons become spectacle for worship, onlookers grow to glorify the carnage and destruction, develop an obsession towards victory and satisfying violent desires. The abuse of war makes me ask questions about people and questioning people is exhausting. I suppose some of this is an age thing combined with an insecurity thing, this grand desire to cull any outward manifestation of primitivity or immaturity. A losing battle.

Fights I can accept. Struggles I can accept, along with survival. Perhaps only because I feel like those words apply to what I’ve been feeling, even as I deny, flagellate, and argue with myself if those terms are justified. If I have earned the right to use those words. If I have earned the right to feel those things. If I have earned the right to take others on a guilt trip, throw up my arms and say ‘I am who I am.’ Feelings are a hell of a thing. They oscillate between ceaseless motivation and paralyzed introspection. That is the beat of creative writing. Do you want to see the hearts? Then come listen to the writers who have survived a two year struggle, ready to move on to the next fight.

Second year students of the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame will be reading five-minute selections from their final theses on Sunday April 30th, 2017 at 3:00 PM in the Eck Center Auditorium. The reading is free and open to the public.

Zachary Anderson hails from Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received BA degrees in English and French from the University of Wyoming, and an MA in literature, writing a thesis on race and Beat Generation masculinities. His poetry projects are anxiety-ridden explorations of gender performance, late capitalism, constructions of wilderness, the rural, and the Gothic.

Kelsey Castaneda received her BA from Georgetown College, where she was Student Editor of the Georgetown Review. She studied Creative Writing in Prague, Shakespeare and Ovid at Oxford, and taught English in Slovakia through the Fulbright Program. Her other interests include hiking, shopping, music festivals, and rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Taeyin ChoGlueck is a third culture kid birthed by North America and South Korea. She is the co-founder of Stage for Change, a non-profit group that puts unheard voices that question identity on the stage. She is the playwright of The Pink Pope, which features a female God dealing with a Purgatory full of misogynists and women building a new church.

Thomson Guster is the recipient of the 2010-2011 Kelly Writers House Junior Fellows Prize. His writing has appeared in Strange Attractors: Investigations into Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexuality and Bedfellows. Recent work includesTHE CLONE SAGA, an adaptation of Spider-Man that explores the empty paranoia of identity; HEAT MAP #10, ‘a zine of fictional music writing; and Op, poems that attempt self-expression under deep cover.

Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xican@ poeta, choreographer and educator. He earned a BA in Creative Writing and Dance from the University of California Riverside, and an MA in Dance from Florida State University. His poetry has been seen in Foglifter, Public Pool, and Spillway, among many others. He is the founder of the men’s writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center and co-founder and editor at The Brillantina Project.

Chris Muravez finished his BFA in Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada College. He is a ten-year veteran of the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard. His poems have been featured in Emerge Literary Journal, The Mochila Review, Santa Clara Review, and South 85 Journal. He has also worked on the Sierra Nevada Review as an editor. His poetry explores the damage of war on both the society and the individual. He kills time by blocking out the sun.

Bailey Pittenger received her BA and MA in English at Wake Forest University. She served as managing editor of Re:Visions and The Bend, was awarded the Kaneb Center Graduate Student Teaching Award, and received a Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship for her fiction. Her prose was published recently in Cosmonauts Avenue, Gigantic Sequins, Entropy, and elsewhere. She will be attending the University of Denver for her PhD in English.

Tania Sarfraz grew up in Lahore, Pakistan. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Brown University in 2014. She won the Weston Senior Prize for her short fiction collection, Betrayal & Other Stories. She is a writer of short prose that meanders, then finds its way, or remains lost. Sometimes she eats mangoes and hotdogs on skateboards.

Sarah Snider graduated from Yeshiva University with a BA in English Literature and minors in History and Women’s Studies. She has worked in nonprofit jobs including disaster relief, community outreach, feminist advocacy, and Holocaust survivor outreach. Her writing covers issues surrounding gender, family, religion, and culture, but attempts to do so with a desperate insertion of humor and in a pleasantly fragmented fashion.

It’s the end and the beginning, the beginning of an end and the end of a beginning. Come witness on Sunday. Ask questions and be suspicious. Let your heart beat.


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