MFA, Ph.D., fiction writer, poet, and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Copper Nickel, Baltimore Review, PANK, and The Journal. Ms. Oleson was a Van Sickle Fellow and a recipient of a Washington Square Review Fiction Award, the Elizabeth Bruss Prize, and the storySouth Million Writers Award. Her recent work appears in Carve, Cherry Tree, The Normal School, Calyx, Quarterly West, Hotel Amerika, and Memorious.
You could roller skate, make macaroons, groom the poodle, or watch everything in your Netflix Queue. You could troll your cousin’s ex-boyfriend on Facebook, the one who lives in Cleveland, and look! He cut his hair, rescued a Norwegian forest cat, moved to Dallas. You might listen to public radio, your neighbors’ wind chimes, their fighting or screwing, or the murmur of your toilet running—and aren’t we in a drought? Scrape the burn off your toast; toast your grandfather’s health; shop online for insurance under the Affordable Care Act while you wait for your iPhone to charge. You might organize a march on Washington, write your senator, or retweet a green-eyed reality TV star.
Given all you could be doing, your desire to write creatively and read closely thrills me. Your passion and attention, your fearless industry and artful perseverance: this focused energy is the gift you give to me, to your classmates, to yourself. Together—whether our classroom is physical or virtual—we are readers, teachers, and writers, and this tri-part identity can keep us aloft on those inevitable days when our own writing wobbles mercilessly.