Cynthia Oka

Cynthia Dewi Oka

Instructor Bio

MFA, poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Ms. Oka is the author of four books, most recently A Tinderbox in Three Acts and Fire Is Not a Country. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Oprah Daily, POETRY, Academy of American Poets, Pank Magazine, Hyperallergic, and elsewhere. She has received the Amy Clampitt Residency, the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, and the Leeway Transformation Award. Originally from Bali, Indonesia, she currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Adi Magazine.

Instructor Statement

I believe writing is a practice of self-creation and relationship-building with(in) the world. Writing invites us to cultivate our curiosity, humility, discipline, and courage. As your instructor, I am committed to guiding you to excavate and engage the questions that drive you to the page; to look at the familiar with critical attention and quest beyond the familiar for resonances; finally, to take risks in your work for the joys of discovery, connection, and even, transformation. In my classes, we will attend to craft at site-specific and structural levels; explore formally and emotionally what the work needs to fulfill its intentions; and we will definitely revise! I believe the capacity to pay and sustain close attention is essential to a writer; so is a writing community that supports and challenges us to realize the work that is most important to us. I am committed to helping you build both.

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