Here's Elena's letter:
Dear MFAW Community,
After 38 semesters and 66 residencies, the time has come for me to graduate!
I joined the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing in July of 2002. First as a part- time faculty member, then full-time, then in my current position as director. The 19 years that I’ve worked with the MFAW faculty and students have been the highlight of my professional life. What I’m most proud of, in my time as director, is the supportive community I have made it my mission to nurture. Beyond degrees, publications, and productions, it is this sense of community that our alumni take into the world as writers.
When I was a student (both undergrad and grad), like many of you, I had to hold down a full-time job and go to school in the evening. As an international student, I did not have access to any form of financial aid, and so I lived within a limited budget that did not stretch to owning my own computer. Consequently I would sneak into my empty workplace offices, after hours, to use the computers to write my papers and poems. I envied the students who had their own laptops and could spend their days in libraries, reading and writing. All these years later, with my own computer and my own office, I am leaving the Goddard College MFAW program to give myself what I have always yearned for—to fill my days with reading and writing; to devote my life to my art.
My last day as Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College will be Friday, April 2, 2021. But I hope that we will find ways to remain connected to one another as literary citizens and activists—as people who use their imaginations as a force for creating good in the world.
Being a part of our MFAW community—watching students blossom, helping them to realize their literary dreams, being supported by our program’s faculty—has been an honor and a blessing. I thank you for all that you have given me.
I wish for you all the lives that you wish for yourselves.
With appreciation and love,