Devon Norris is a writer. Of what, he’s not sure. He and his wife, Amber, are preparing for their next journey as she pursues her medical residency and he pursues… something. In the meantime, good stories will keep him company. Maybe one day he’ll write one.
Rachel Hoge: Hi Devon, thanks so much for agreeing to share your thoughts on the Arkansas Writers Program. Our program offers a unique focus on both publishing and pedagogy. As a graduate student you’ve taught college writing, creative writing, and have pursued an editorial internship with the Oxford American magazine. How have these opportunities impacted you professionally?
Devon Norris: The benefit of a focus in publishing and pedagogy is exposure (in the professional sense). The variety of studies enables me to observe the full scope of opportunities available to an MFA graduate. Also, for someone with many interests, I can explore the possibilities in several fields without committing to any of them.
RH: In what ways has our MFA program transformed you as a writer, artist, or professional?
DN: I’ve expanded my comfort zone, pushing into poetry, drama, and fiction in many ways I hadn’t before. I think, when you stretch what you normally experiment with, you have the chance to grow and inform other parts of your writing. I’ve probably devolved as a professional during my time here, but that has nothing to do with the program. That’s Ben’s fault.
RH: How will this degree be beneficial to you in reaching your post-grad goals?
DN: The program has helped me grow as a writer and a thinker, which will be invaluable no matter what professional course I take. I plan to wield the skills I’ve learned here in the next step of my life, which hasn’t been determined yet.
RH: How has the faculty of our MFA program helped you prepare for the future?
DN: The faculty are passionate about writing and about teaching, but they also care about you as a person. They are invested in my future, and they work for the students’ betterment. What more could you ask for?
RH: Why would you recommend the Arkansas Writers Program to an MFA applicant?