What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing: Interviews with the M.F.A. Student Amber O’Sullivan

DSCF1723Amber O’Sullivan is a new member of the Creative Writing MFA program, beginning her first semester in Fall 2014. She is from Syracuse, New York, and has spent the last few years living in Ireland. Her travels influenced her poetry writing, which is also her writing focus in the program.

What drew you to the MFA program?

I got into St Rose for undergrad, but unfortunately did not attend. When I heard about the MFA program, I decided to apply. Luckily I was accepted, and I’m happy about this decision for a number of reasons. The program itself is interesting, as the writing is balanced with a lot of focus on reading literature as well. I was also drawn to the program because of the practicum aspect, which allows me to get hands-on experience while I am still working toward my degree.

What or who inspires you to write?

I am mostly inspired by the things that I see in day to day life. Most of my writing is influenced by the fear of forgetting the images or situations that occur right in front of me. This is actually another strength of this program: my workshop classes push me to writing each day, and that allows me to better catalogue all of what I see.

Who is your favorite author?

This question is hard! Frank O’Hara definitely one of my favorite poets. E. E. Cummings also. My favorite prose authors have to be Flannery O’Connor. and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Reading Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise made me want to write.

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

I hope to have shared some of the things that I’ve learned about writing to other aspiring writers. I also hope to have made valuable connections and publishable pieces.

What are your long-term goals for writing?

To make a job out of it. I would love to be published and to also have a job that teaches people to write.

What was the last good book you’ve read?

Cailleach The Hag of Beara by Leanne O’Sullivan. It was a really interesting collection of poetry. O’Sullivan connects Irish culture and myths into her works effectively.

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