16. Practice & Patience: A Dialogue with 2014 Masters Review Author Drew Ciccolo

Drew Ciccolo Masters Review

Drew Ciccolo, a 2014 graduate of Rutgers University-Newark’s MFA Program, won Talking Writing‘s 2013 prize for creative non-fiction. His story “The Behemoth” was selected by Lev Grossman for the 2014 anthology, The Masters Review. A first-year PhD candidate in the Rutgers-Newark American Studies program this fall, he will study, among other things, representations of culture and socialization in fiction containing non-mimetic elements. His website is forthcoming.

Giveaway Details

We’re giving away two copies of the The Masters Review Volume III, which opens with Drew’s story, The Behemoth. To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on this blog post or on the Facebook post. Click here to like The Postmasters Podcast on Facebook! We’ll announce the winners later this month.


On the MFA Draft Facebook Group group…

“You get a feel for what schools people are applying to… I definitely noticed people supporting each other and boosting each other’s spirits, and that seemed like a good thing.”

On choosing Rutgers’ MFA program…

“I applied to either 11 or 13 programs. [On Facebook,] I saw that people were worried about the cost of application. I’ll suck it up on the application costs if it means I could get some kind of a funding package somewhere.”

On patience as a writer…

“Most people [at the start of the MFA] hadn’t even written ten stories, me included. If you put that in the context of a writing life, it’s really just the beginning.”

Advice to people considering an MFA…

“When MFA faculty are looking at applications, they’re trying to find people, not who have written the most polished story, but they’re looking for people who… if they were they to work with this person, some good would come out of it.”

Who’s Who

The Masters Review

Donald Barthelme

Steven Millhauser

Justin Taylor

Jayne Anne Phillips

Rutgers University MFA Program

University of Florida MFA Program

Akhil Sharma

Alice Elliott Dark

Paige, Drew Ciccolo’s personal essay won Talking Writing‘s 2013 prize for nonfiction

James Goodman

Closing Quote

In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything! ~ Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

11. Artistic Collaboration & Activism: A Dialogue with Poet Cameron Conaway

Poet Cameron Conaway

Poet Cameron Conaway

Cameron Conaway, Executive Editor at The Good Men Project, is a former MMA fighter and an award-winning poet. After attaining a BA in both English and Criminal Justice at Penn State Altoona, Cameron decided to give up his fight career in order to serve as the Poet-in-Residence at the University of Arizona’s MFA Creative Writing Program (2007-2009). He then moved to Thailand where he spent two years living in and traveling throughout Asia. A Wellcome Trust Arts Grant allowed him to study with some of the world’s brightest malaria researchers, the result of which is Malaria: Poems (Michigan State University Press, 2014). Cameron has written about the issues of child labor, human trafficking and poverty and some of his publications on these topics can be found in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and the Women News Network. Cameron is the author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet (Threed, 2011), Bonemeal: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Until You Make the Shore (Salmon Poetry, 2014). (24:45)

Website: CameronConaway.com

Twitter: @CameronConaway

Until You Make the Shore - Cameron ConawayBook Giveaway!

Salmon Poetry has generously sponsored this month’s giveaway for our listeners. To qualify to win a copy of Until You Make the Shore, Like The Posmasters Podcast on Facebook AND leave a comment below. It’s that easy! We’ll announce our winner on Facebook at the end of the month. Continue reading

07. Life, Poetry & the Freak Show: A Dialogue w/ Poet Valerie Bandura


Poet Valerie Bandura

Born in the former Soviet Union, Valerie Bandura received degrees from Columbia University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, where she served as the Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow. She was awarded a residency from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the James Merrill Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems have appeared, among other publications, in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Alaska QuarterlyThird Coast, and the Best New Poets anthology. She teaches writing at Arizona State University. (27:47)

Valerie’s Website: http://valeriebandura.com/

We’re giving away a free copy of Freak Show! Details at the bottom of the post… Continue reading

The Nightstand Library Book Giveaway!

November is shaping up to be a great month. Not only will we kick off National Novel Writing Month with a fun new episode, but The Postmasters Podcast is doing another BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Our Nightstand Libraries! Lacy's at left; Audrey's at right.

Our Nightstand Libraries! Lacy’s at left; Audrey’s at right.

The Masters Review, a friend of the podcast, has generously supplied us with two copies of their brand new issue. Each year The Masters Review publishes a ten-story collection showcasing the best in graduate-level creative writing. The 2013 edition features an introduction and stories selected by author AM Homes, one of which is “How to Like Girls”, an essay by our August interviewee, Courtney Gillette. (You can hear Courtney read the intro to her essay in Episode 2 of The Postmasters Podcast.) The goal of The Masters Review is to expose progressive, diverse, and well-crafted writing to agents, editors, and readers. A noble effort, and we want to help!

How To Enter

Win a copy of The Masters Review 2013 by sharing a photo of your nightstand library–on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter–sometime between now and October 31, and make sure you hashtag it #NightstandLibrary #PostmastersPodcast. It doesn’t matter where you share it; we’ll find your photo as long as it’s been appropriately hashtagged! And on November 1, we will randomly select two winners from the gallery of shared photos.

(Think hashtagging is silly? You’re not alone.  Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake prove it. But it does make giving away free books a lot easier!)

Can’t wait to see what you’re all reading… Share your photos with us today!

Follow The Postmasters Podcast (postmasters2) on Instagram.


The 100-Like Book Giveaway!

Bookish brothers and sisters, delight! We’ve got TWO wonderful books to give away!

The Postmasters Podcast recently hit 100 Likes on Facebook. To celebrate we’ll be randomly selecting 2 WINNERS from among our Facebook fans on Tuesday, 17 September. Each winner will receive a book in the mail. There’s still time to enter this giveaway. Like us today!

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard & North of the Sun, South of the Moon: New Voices from Norway by The Oslo International Writers' Group

Free books!

Thank you, Friends & Followers, for your support and encouragement! We love this project, and we hope you do, too.