BFA in Creative Writing: Student Testimonials
August Amoroso, BFA ’18
The BFA program at Portland State is extraordinary! As a nontraditional undergraduate student who is relatively new to creative writing, I am honored to have been included in this program. I’ve always had artistic aspirations, and have always been an avid reader, but while recovering from a life-changing, traumatic brain injury, I began writing as an outlet and as a way to compensate for my memory-related disabilities. The BFA program has given me the tools and the encouragement to transform my passions into a skilled practice, and has granted me access to a community of writers, both at Portland State and beyond. The instructors are simultaneously challenging and supportive, creating an environment that rewards dedicated hard work. In short, the BFA program is a place for hard-working and talented new writers to cultivate a lifelong practice—to live up to the better angels of their artistic potential.
Julia Laxer, BFA ’18
I am an older transfer student who recently returned to university. I had a story to tell but I needed tools in telling it. In the BFA program, I read new authors and short works, rather than books I had already read. Instead, anthologies of lesser-recognized voices filled my booklist each term. I found myself in challenging, egalitarian, reflective, and safe writing spaces with excellent instruction from writers, specifically Jae Choi, Michael McGregor, and Leni Zumas. Some of my best work was written in these classes. I read thinkers like John D’Agata and was in a writing-generative poetry seminar about capitalism; it blew my mind. Being challenged is gratifying, but I was safe, so I grew. As an experienced workshop attendee, I can attest to the high quality of this writing program, which is my alternative to a MFA.
Dustin Rozier, BFA ’19
The BFA in Creative Writing allowed me to experiment with different genres and forms, interact with talented faculty, and engage with a diverse literary community. While in the program I took a wide range of writing electives, including a Comics Writing course and French Creative Writing course, which pushed me as an artist and thinker. The BFA’s challenging and comprehensive degree plan, keen faculty, and rich student body supported the discovery of my artistic vision and I am tremendously grateful for the mentoring and camaraderie supplied in this unique program.
Samm Saxby, BFA ’18
My experience in the BFA program at PSU was phenomenal. Visiting authors and publishers interact with us during panel events, and the professors host noteworthy authors in the classroom. Students, faculty, and community members come together at BFA student readings to support us outside of class. During the program, I was introduced to Forest Avenue Press, which led to the wonderful publishing internship I still have, post-graduation.
Renee Soasey, BFA ’19
The BFA program at Portland State is exactly the tailored degree I was looking for, incorporating creative writing workshops with in-depth study of literature, which enabled me to hone my writing skills while being informed by and immersed in both classic and current works. The program also gave me the opportunity to workshop with authors I ardently admire, such as Leni Zumas, Justin Hocking, and Sallie Tisdale. The professors are accessible, encouraging, and helpful in all aspects of writing and publication, and they create a community where aspiring writers can flourish.