Ralvell RogersMFA, Creative Writing
MFA Creative Writing candidate Ralvell Rogers is making his mark on the literary world.
My time at AU has been brilliant in the fact that I've already learned much about what it means to be a Writer with a capital "W" and more importantly, a literary scholar. Though there is an obvious focus on our course work, it's been made clear to me that our work isn't exactly all that matters in the classroom. We are continuously connecting our work in class to the lives that we live on a daily basis and the world that we all live in, and I think that is very important for writers and entrepreneurs in the publishing sector because we are essentially the historians of our respective generations.
He is the author of The Kansas City Boys Choir: Providing Hope for Tomorrow, which has been endorsed by luminaries Kevin Powell, G.S. Griffin, and Congressman Emanual Cleaver II. Ralvell has also established his own publishing company, Ambitious Stories, LLC, out of Kansas City, MO. He founded it earlier this year to focus on "often unheard, yet riveting and inspiring stories from the heart."
Valzhyna Mort MFA Creative Writing
Alumna Valzhyna Mort has gained international acclaim for her third poetry collection, Music for the Dead and Resurrected (FSG, 2020), which won the 2021 International Griffin Prize and was named one of the best poetry books of 2020 by the New York Times. Publishers Weekly called this work in their starred review, "poems of reclamation and resurrection; to live in them is to confront the hard work of witness." The New Yorker wrote in its review, "Memory, metaphor, and myth intermingle to sometimes nightmarish effect in this collection by a Belarus-born poet. Mort excavates the individual and communal traumas wrought by a violent and repressive national history, and calls herself 'a test-child exposed to the burning reactor of my grandmother’s memory.'" Mort teaches poetry, literature, and translation at Cornell University.
For more than 40 years, writers have come to American University to develop their work and exchange ideas in the District’s only creative writing MFA program.