Monday, December 19, 2011

Dear Antioch

Yesterday I went to the graduation ceremony of the MFA Creative Writing program. I thought I was there to celebrate my two friends Gina Loring and Dasha Kelly. Two amazing writers, poets, storytellers, performers, friends, spirits, beings. I'm sure you got a sense of that while they were there. I sat there, maybe fifteen rows back and was more and more inspired speaker after speaker. I didn't expect that. Well, not to the degree that I was inspired. Thank you.

One of the student speakers put a particular thought in my head. I wish I could remember his name. In his speech he imagined what the admittance board discussed as they read his letter requesting to be admitted into your fine program. I thought about that. What would the board think about any letter I would write about myself? What would I write to a group of seven or so people to sum up why I should be chosen? Where would I begin? What would I leave out? Who would I ask to review it? What would you be looking for? How long should it be? Is the abortion too much? That I call myself a feminist but feel the need to explain that everytime I say it, is that not smart enough for someone you would consider? Would you want a list of my lovers? Some of them will not say the best things about me, but some of the most awful things will be true. Sorry. I have lived my life as a human being you know.

I am just freewriting here. Have never written a letter like this before. Never even thought about it. I have spent years in college but still don't have my B.A. yet. Yet. I have been saying yet for a very long time. This might be an interesting exercise for me. To write a letter to you. You seven or so folks sitting around a table who don't know me at all. A letter from me, about me. I am encouraged to take it on. The letter, maybe not sending it. My guess is that I will discover more about myself than you may care to know.

Well, you folks keep up the good work over there and have a nice day.


Jaha Zainabu

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