Before WordPress tells me what happened this year, let me do a little review. 2015 will be best remembered as the start of The W’s low-res MFA program in creative writing. As the year began, we had just been approved and were only starting to recruit students. By June, we had 11 students enrolled and were getting classes and new faculty ready to roll in Blackboard. August brought the news that the campus was switching to Canvas for our LMS, and we quickly transitioned the writing program as well, so we could start in the new learning environment. since all our classes were new and hadn’t been implemented yet.
Our grade students did a great job in their online courses. And really enjoyed meeting each other and their faculty at the Welty Symposium. Directions the program and the symposium at the same time, creating two new classes, one in Writing for New Media and the other our first residency, was a challenge with many rewards. And we’ve admitted 5 new students for Spring and have several students already in the pipeline for Fall 2016. It seems clear we are well on the way to a successful program, though there will be many challenges next year as we work towards graduating our first MFAs in 2017.
In other news, I completed the manuscript for my third book of poems, Barrier Island Suite, which will be published by Texas Review Press next year. I’ve had some good conversations with the Walter Anderson family about using his artwork on the cover and inside the book. And Terry Hummer, Beth Ann Fennelly, and AdamVines were kind enough to write blurbs for the cover.
Our family took a great car vacation to see friends in Virginia, visit Lancaster County PA, explore Acadia National Park, and take in the beautiful and historic city of Montreal, where we also caught up with friends from Venice. Along the way, we found great surprises in the country sides of Maine and Quebec.
As we head into the new year, I’m grateful for all these opportunities and for all the friends we’ve been able to make or reconnect with. Visits to family in the summer and over Christmas are also highlights. It’s been a great year, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead!