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Peter Arsenault '2012

My experiences at The Massachusetts Review have taught me what it is like to work with adults, and therefore have a “real,” work-world experience, but the beauty of this particular internship is that the adults are a group of highly literate writers! On any given day when I walk in the door there may be a heated discussion about the merits of a third-person limited perspective, or perhaps Jim Hicks will be enthused about some obscure Bosnian translation he just secured the rights to use. There is always something interesting going on at The Massachusetts Review.

My responsibilities have increased sufficiently this semester. Last summer and in the fall it was expected that I take care of submission indexing and sending rejection letters, which was vapid and obligatory, but I still felt cool hanging out in the office. I have now moved up to something of a “sound engineer” for The Massachusetts Review due to my recent work editing their very first podcast (due out April). I took audio recordings from a recent discussion between Dan Visel and Peter Stallybrass about “the history and future of the book” and boiled down their conversation to its intellectual essences. The editors enjoyed my work so much that they offered me more work with editing phone interviews with Spencer Reece and James Franco. We have been working diligently to post this interview on the website because of the “Franco-Mania” that people seem afflicted by. The phone interviews should be online at massreview.org by the end of this week!

In summation, I found the best unpaid, not-for-credit internship I could have found. The editors show me great works of literature and are thankful for the work that I do for them. I am so happy at The Massachusetts Review that I want to get into the literary scene once I am out of school, even if it pays very little, because there will always be fellowships, grants, and the like.

Peter Arsenault