What We Talk About When We Talk About Writers: An Interview With M.F.A. Student Sarah Sherman

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 talk to Sarah Sherman over email. She currently is a server/bartender.  She loves her family and admits she doesn’t eat very healthy, “or exercise enough (at all)?” She also really likes Italian cookies, wishes she could travel more, and thinks her golden doodle Layla is cuter than any other dog in the world.

What drew you to the MFA program?

Since graduating from Ithaca College in 2008, I’ve thought about a few different MFA programs, but never felt a significant pull toward one or the other. I needed to be around the Albany area for family reasons and planned to take the next year to decide on where I wanted to go back to school. When I heard that Saint Rose was starting an MFA, I felt that pull. After meeting with Professor Nester and learning about the program, I knew it was where I needed to be.

What or who inspires you to write? 

Like everyone else, I’m inspired by everything around me. Everything that happens. Or doesn’t. What I’ve been through. What I hope for.

Who is your favorite author? 

I’m inspired by the work of women who write with truth and power. Women like Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Cheryl Strayed, Jeanette Wells. As of recently, my favorite writer is Lena Dunham, though she’s predominantly a filmmaker.

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

I want to learn as much as possible. I want to grow as a writer and as someone who has studied this field. I hope to be someone who can confidently call herself a writer.

What are your long-term goals for writing?

My goal is to complete a memoir that combines prose with poetry (and have it published). Also, I would love to be knowledgeable enough in this field to be able to teach creative writing.

What was the last good book you’ve read? 

I just started reading through the poetry collection Letters to Kelly Clarkson by Julia Bloch, which is pretty great so far.


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