What We Talk About When We Talk About Writers: An Interview With MFA Student Sierra Alley

Peace Bulletin pic--Sierra Alley
Welcome to the  weekly installment of What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing. Over the next month, we’re going to be interviewing the writers who make up the second class of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. This week we corresponded with  Sierra Alley over email.
Sierra Alley is originally from Virginia but she moved to Albany from North Carolina. She recently graduated in May of 2013 with a B.A in English and Writing from William Peace University (formerly Peace College) in Raleigh, NC. Sierra has been writing poetry since 2004 and she was first published in 2005. She loves writing, drinking coffee, and reading a good book with her cats.
What drew you to the MFA program? 
When I was researching graduate schools last year, I wanted to find a school that not only had a wonderful Creative Writing program, but that also embodied a safe place for me to grow and learn as a writer in a supportive environment. I knew that this program would allow me to do those things.  I felt like this is where I am meant to be.
What or who inspires you to write? 
My family definitely inspires me to write; certain life events have touched my life in important ways, and the people who I surround myself with. I am inspired daily by the things that I see and feel, but I would say that my biggest source of inspiration are the things that come from my heart. 
Who is your favorite author? 
Kurt Vonnegut. His novel Slaughterhouse-Five changed my life when I read it in my Twentieth Century Fiction class as an Undergraduate. I have been in love with his writing ever since then.
What do you hope to accomplish by the time you graduate?
I hope that more of my poetry gets published and that my poems will resonate with people. I also hope that by the time I graduate, I will be able to publish a collection of my work with new and old materials that have inspired me and shaped who I am.
What are your long-term goals for writing? 
It has always been a dream of mine to publish a collection of my poetry. I feel like I have a story to tell with my poems that needs to be told.  I know that there are people out in the world who can relate to my poems. Writing has been a great outlet for me since I was in high school, so if I could help teens by expressing whatever is going on with them, through my writing, then that would be very wonderful.
What was the last good book you’ve read?
I recently finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but I am currently reading Cat’s Eye by Margret Atwood. Gone Girl was very good and twisted in so many ways, but I really enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s writing style. It was the first time I have ever read anything by her. Cat’s Eye is amazing, as I knew it would be. 
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