MFA Class of 2021
As this academic year comes to a close, the MFA community is eager to celebrate the Class of 2021.
This year's graduates have faced the challenges of teaching, learning, and living through a pandemic alongside the rest of the world. They have navigated this wild and unpredictable year with creativity and grit, all while completing their theses and graduation milestones. We are so proud of them and their incredible work.
Congratulations to this year's MFA graduates!
Sarah Ghazal Ali
Christopher James Llego
Raquel Perez De Alderete
Sarah Ghazal Ali
The poems in Theophanies speak back against time to matrilineal elders, to the women of religious texts whose voices are often ancillary in the Prophetic tales of men. In speaking back, they question what it means to be faithful, how to embody signs, omens, and miracles. Theophanies is one woman of faith's attempt to re-imagine her place in a lost lineage.
z & s (working title) charts the story of Sophreen and Zehra, ostensibly two girls in love, who experience transnational migration together. Through the lens of their relationship, I explore themes of embodiment, survival, complicity, cultural erasure, and the complexity of abuse and trauma for multiply marginalized people. I use poems and visual art to portray the colliding worlds of feminized people as they navigate madness, psychosis, disability, and illness in the frame of desire.
Sister is a novel that explores the story of a young woman, Anna, who enters a convent, presumably for good, and then leaves to return to her childhood home. As Anna tries to carve out a life for herself, she unwittingly enters a time of both spiritual and psychological battles and wonders if there really is a place for her back home.
The Shapes You Leave Behind is a family saga that follows a mother and her two daughters. It challenges the concept of motherhood and how that role is played and executed on a social and emotional level within an immigrant community. It’s about love and love relationships that subvert the control of who to love, in what way, and to what extent. It’s about belonging and identity within the context of the Turkish diaspora.
Goddess is a collection of short stories that explores the hold myths have over our lives. From a middle-aged woman attempting to reclaim her virginity to the awakening of an ancient snake goddess, each story interacts with the past in a new way. A feminist undercurrent asks the reader to consider the ways we have and continue to mythologize women, girlhood, and goddesses.
One Person Holds So Much Silence is as an exploration of the uncertainty inherent to a life, uncertainty of language and speech, family, friendship, partners, memory, home, god, labor, art, sobriety, and history. These poems are my attempt to square that uncertainty with something resembling comfort.
Funny Bone is a novel engaging with Climate Change and Capitalism. The book is specifically interested in how children all over the world are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, and yet they have no say in Environmental Policies. How did we get here as a civilization and where do we go from here?
Juleen Eun Sun Johnson
My manuscript is a self-portrait through narrative and multiple perspectives. A map into the spaces I can’t escape from, even after leaving and moving across the country. The fringed landscape of Alaska.
Peel in the Garden is a deep dive into what was a forbidden area for so many years. The landscape left by trauma becomes a tangible experience that readers can hopefully grasp, digest and savor.
Michael Medeiros’ thesis, Car Lot Saudade/Fado for My Hoarding, explores themes of home, community, loss, and reconstruction. He is a poet and potter from New Bedford, MA, living in Amherst, MA, and both of those physical places—along with the people, objects, histories, and ideas that inhabit them—influence much of his writing.
Joseph R. Moore
Niagara is a work of magical realism, incorporating elements of historical and experimental fiction. The novel is inhabited by the problematic moguls and politicians who shaped American settlement, the burgeoning subculture of freight train hoppers that post their travels on the internet, and an author turned ghost who can no longer remember his past work. He is joined by Claude, a photographer and the only person who can see him, on a journey across the United States.