May 10, 2015

A Literary Atmosphere

Catherine-ChungBy Catherine Chung, assistant professor, M.F.A. in Creative Writing program

The 2013–2014 academic year marked my entry as an English department faculty member in the creative writing program at Adelphi University. It was an amazing and pivotal year.

Before Adelphi, I’d taught creative writing at Cornell University, Ohio State University and the University of Leipzig, but this was my first opportunity to teach and advise graduate students. What an exciting and humbling experience it is to meet writers on the brink who are already serious about their craft and beginning significant and lengthy projects of their own. They were driven and passionate, and they charmed me, as they charmed other writers at the AWP Conference in Seattle, Washington, and the inaugural reading of the Literary Encounters reading series that we organized for their benefit. Guernica magazine and The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop partnered with us to host and publicize the event, which featured Lauren K. Alleyne and Jamaica Kincaid, and was well attended by Adelphi faculty and students. The sense of community and the conversation that reading fostered was paramount, with our own students asking questions and engaging the authors. I was impressed by the initiative they showed, and proud when they told me of their plans to start their own online journal, which launched this year.

My undergraduate students are also talented writers who work hard, volunteer for literary organizations, work as interns for agents and publishers, and who are supportive to each other. I have loved watching them break new ground to become, ultimately, better thinkers and writers. In the years to come, I am looking forward to seeing how they continue to grow and what mark they make in the world.

This article appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of The Catalyst, the College of Arts and Sciences newsletter.

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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

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More than 115,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.