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People @ Goddard

Shawn Kerivan

I came to Goddard’s MFA in Creative Writing program on the cusp of middle age, dragging a lifetime of writing behind me that looked more like a junk drawer than an organized career. I had stuff everywhere. I had talent, but I didn’t have focus, because I’d never taken the time to study craft, to stop, to listen to the sound of my own heart beating. Goddard was the prism that allowed all that to happen. For two years I bent light, and felt it bend me, discovering who I was through a series of interactions with my faculty mentors and the writers and poets I forged lifelong friendships with during the residencies.

I emerged from Goddard with a creative thesis that became my first published book, the short story collection Name the Boy. I also acquired a passion for teaching, and I now teach writing--creative, composition, and research--at the Community College of Vermont. My students respond to my process-based approach, which is one of the most important things I learned at Goddard: trust the process.

I recently published my second book, a creative writing memoir/handbook called Creative Writing in the Real World: A Reader for Writers. In addition to my teaching and writing, I’m the fiction editor for Quay: A Journal of the Arts, and I continue to write and publish and spread the wonderful energy I found at Goddard.