What We Talk About When We Talk About Writers: An Interview With M.F.A. Student Carol Jewell

Welcome to another installment of WWTA. Over the course of the semester, we’re going to be interviewing the writers who make up the first class of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. This week we corresponded with Carol H. Jewell over email. Carol received her B.A. in Russian Language and Literature. She has two masters degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language and in Information Science. She has worked at the University of Albany University Libraries since 1985.

What drew you to the MFA program?

I have been writing poetry forever, but was not encouraged to pursue this interest when I was growing up. I have other interests: languages, music, art, reading, which I’ve persued, but I’ve wanted to become a better poet, and the low-residency MFA programs turned out to be inconvenient for me. When St. Rose announced their new program, I applied immediately.

What or who inspires you to write?

Nature, my gardens, getting older, nostalgia, relationships, and loss and grief.

Who is your favorite author? 

Can’t pick just one favorite author, so, for prose, just to name a few: Rumer Godden, Nina Bawden, E.B. White, and Lucy Maud Montgomery; for poetry: Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, ee cummings, Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

What do you hope to accomplish by the time you graduate?

I hope to become a better poet, and a better writer overall. I hope to become a member of a local writer’s group, or form a new one.

What are your long-term goals for writing?

My long term goals include continuing to improve, and getting published.

What was the last good book you’ve read?

Speak to Me: Swedish Language Women Poets/Tala Till Mig: Svensksprakiga Kvinnliga Poeter (The Spirit that Moves Us Press, 1989).