What We Talk About When We Talk About Writers: An Interview with MFA Student Kimberley Daigle

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Welcome to another  installment of WWTA. Over the course of the year, we’ll  be interviewing the writers who make up the first class of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. This week we corresponded with Kimberley Daigle over email.

Kimberley was raised in Clifton Park, NY.  In high school she was the “classic dorky honors kid” who went to school on senior skip day and did extra credit assignments even if she already had an A+. She ‘s still a dork today, only now she wears makeup. In addition to being a dork she’s also a writer, a student, and a cat lady. Her favorite writing genres are memoir and non-fiction. “I like knowing that I am investing my time and brainpower in total truths,” she says.

What drew you to the MFA program?

Well, I got my Bachelor’s from Saint Rose in Adolescent Education with a concentration in English. I always knew I would need a Master’s degree, but I didn’t always know I wanted to pursue an MFA. Now, the reason I chose my concentration was because I have always loved English, and more specifically writing. It seemed like each semester I would get to take one literature course, and maybe a writing course.

By senior year I realized how thirsty I was for more English, and how tired I was of the Ed. credits. I loved being at Saint Rose for my undergrad. work, so when I heard about the MFA program I was psyched.

What or who inspires you to write?

You know when you finish a book and you feel like you’ve just lost a friend when you put it down? I find myself searching for more, thinking I missed an intro or prologue. I flip through the front pages and the back pages looking for more because I love the author so much for writing that book. I want to be able to write something great like that. I’m inspired by the authors I’ve read, and I want to inspire others with my own writing.

Who is your favorite author?

Lorrie Moore. I fell in love with her short story “How,” and I’m just as taken by all of her pieces. “How to Become a Writer” is hilarious; I just can’t get enough of her second person point of view. The way she writes is clever and fresh and I respect the grittiness.

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

I guess my main goal is to create new pieces that will stick with me. Last time I wrote something that grew with me I was a freshman here at Saint Rose, and I was taking English 105. I definitely want to have more material under my belt, and it would be nice to publish something to an internet blog or small journal.

What are your long-term goals for writing?

I think most serious writers are looking to publish, so of course publication is a goal of mine. I would also like to teach writing, which is why I pursued a degree in English Ed. initially. I think writing is such an important skill, and also such an outlet for teens and young adults—hell, it’s an outlet for adult-adults, too. I think the best writing comes from passion, and I think anyone with passion can write something really great with a little help.

What was the last good book you’ve read?

I just finished reading A Brilliant Novel in the Works by Yuvi Zalkow. It was weird and heartwarming all at once. I think the idea of a fictional-self as the main character is pretty original. Since the main character is named Yuvi, and is a writer, just like Yuvi, I felt like I was reading a memoir for the most part. As soon as I closed the book I had to research the official genre on the web. I was convinced that weirdo version Yuvi actually existed as described in the novel, and I guess for the sake of Zalkow’s mental health, it’s a good thing this book is fiction.

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