The MFA as a Friend

July 29, 2016 § 9 Comments

1964982_10203201235221297_1433336520_nKelly Green, in response to our recent MFA discussion:

I’ll tell you why I want an MFA.

Because I am scared shitless of this literary world that I can only find on the internet. You’re using words I don’t know the meaning of, and when you talk about craft, my instinct is to think ‘beer’.

I want an MFA because I’m so far away from the world that I can’t possibly infiltrate it. I’m not looking for a calling card; I’m looking for a train ticket. I need to be dropped off somewhere closer to where I want to end up.
The world looks rich and white, and that scares the shit out of me (though you could argue that that is my world). It looks like a world erected upon itself. I imagine that if you were not born inside the walls, you will die climbing them.

I want to look inside the eyes of people who believe in themselves, in their writing – people who believe that their dreams will come true. I need to watch their successes, so that I see them firsthand. I need comrades in battle.

And I need guidance. “Here’s what works, darlin’, and here’s what don’t.” I need someone to guide my hand the way my mother can’t. I need a flashlight, on this shadow-filled path. I need a friend.


Kelly Green is a writer living in Iowa. Her work has appeared in The Activity Report and at She can be found on Twitter @kellygreeeeeen (That’s 6 e’s in Green, because her name is anything but unique.)

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