Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yearning for St. Paul in January

This is the time of year when alumni feel wistful and wish we were again at residency—the writing community at Hamline being warm enough to offset even the frigid temp’s of January in St. Paul. It’s a lifeline to see the nuggets Jackie has posted from lectures, but there’s nothing like being there in person.

Thankfully, the first weekend of residency is also alumni weekend. Last week was the first such weekend during a January residency and introduced some exciting new developments. In addition to workshopping and a special session with guest agent Kendra Marcus, the group enjoyed master classes with Phyllis Root and Mary Logue. Plus, the agenda now offers opportunities for alumni to present or facilitate writing workshops ourselves. A hearty thanks to our first alumni presenters: Andy Cochran, who talked about applying the MFA qualifications to teaching opportunities, and Daniel Campbell, who led a hands-on session about sensory writing. The word on the street and around facebook is that the weekend was refreshing and inspiring!

So, alumni, start planning ahead for July or beyond. The home fires are always burning at Hamline, and perhaps there’s a special topic you’d like to explore or present.

On behalf of the alumni, I extend a heartfelt congratulations to the graduating class of January 2012 (which includes our inkpot blogger Melissa Dempsey). By tonight, you will be officially alumni, and we are so proud. Your fellow alumni know about the hard work and personal growth this accomplishment represents. As you transition to life-after-the-MFA, remember that the Hamline community extends beyond the two-year program in many forms, ranging from writing groups to alumni weekends to personal relationships.

Remember that you can always come home again—and it will be warm, even in January.


  1. Well said, Cheryl! Best wishes to the soon-to-be Hamline alumni--welcome to the group! I'm already planning to be there in July, and I can hardly wait to be back home again at Hamline.

  2. That first weekend of residency is wild - old students, new students and our beloved alums coming back. As Mary Rockcastle said last night - the alums remain part of the Hamline family. Much excitement in several areas: interest in post grad semester opportunities, Hamline online writing groups, local geographic writing groups, reunions at SCBWI events.

    Yes, please, please stay in touch, alums. And let us know any and all good news.

    I am headed down to the shuttle right now. Time to get back to my regular life. Write bravely - all you who dare. I carry the Hamline songs in my heart.

  3. Thank you, Cheryl! The transition into Alum. Land is surreal. But the work remains the same. The writing will always be there. And this fine, quirky, and just awesome Hamline family, will, too. Cheers to my fellow graduates. Cheers to everyone's next chapter. :0)