Meet MFA student Uma Mishra
Uma shares her inspiration and dreams
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from, perhaps places your traveled and jobs you have held and your education and other experiences that have informed your decision to commit to creative writing?
Many decisions and experiences have contributed to my desire to participate in this creative writing program. I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was raised in Nagpur, India. I was in medical school, then the U.S. Army, then a non-traditional undergraduate student, and now living in Switzerland. My life seems to be in segments, one not being accessible because it is so different than my reality. So, creative writing helps me to unify those segments and thus make me feel not so isolated in my experiences.
Why did you choose the Cedar Crest Program? Anything specific, or just the general feel of it, or what?
I chose the Cedar Crest Program because of the accessibility and because it was through an American Institution. Moving to Switzerland many activities/organizations have felt unaccessible due to language barriers and the general Swiss way of life. I need to maintain an American connection, hear voices from home to feel grounded in the writing and work I am producing.
What has been your experience thus far in the program? Anything you want to share about the challenges or the triumphs?
This program is challenging! I have been pushed in my writing more than ever before. My professor this semester has given me the most detailed but constructive critiques I have ever received. You really become informed about who you are as a writer. I feel that 3 months into the program I can safely say that I am becoming acquainted with my voice and comfortable with it. I am not at the point of owning my voice, but the boundaries are becoming much clearer.
What are you working on now? Where do you see your work headed in three to five years, or beyond the program?
I am working on a memoir based on my experiences in the military and my past. I see my work headed to a short-story/essay compilations. I am hoping to continue my studies by applying (and hopefully being accepted) to a PhD program in Comparative Literature.