Class of 2018 Poets Publish Anthology


Last year’s MFA poetry class was a particularly tightknit group, the kind that rooted for each other and hung out together both in and out of the classroom.  In addition to workshops every week, they could often be found having lunch and doing yoga in room 222!  The poets decided to put together a book of their own poems.  The collection, titled If You’re Not Happy Now, was published earlier this month by Broadstone Books!   Congratulations, poets!  A few members of the group will be reading selections from it on Saturday, April 20th at 3 pm in the AGNI basement here at 236 Bay State Rd.  All are welcome.

Maddie Gilmore had this to say about the book’s conception: “We came up with the idea for the anthology over drinks one afternoon (either at O’Leary’s or the Dugout) after workshop. We were talking about (I think) legacies, particularly the ones left by some of the big names from the program’s past—Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and so forth. Wouldn’t it be great, we joked, if one day people looked back at this workshop and said, “Wow, I can’t believe they were all in the same room together!” And the more we joked the more we realized there was something appealing about somehow cementing our poetry together as a group, something comforting about the thought that our brief time together could continue in some way. Someone said, “We could make a book?””


Lauren Peat shared her thoughts on the great gift of an artistic community: “One of the most comforting things about our cohort, for me personally, was its unfailing generosity. I consistently had the sense that a victory for one person—a knock-out submission to workshop, say, or a publication or literary prize—was a victory for us all.

If You’re Not Happy Now, I think, ultimately became a way of extending this atmosphere—one of trust and collective championship—into the “outside” literary world. The one existing beyond Room 222. This world of publishers and literary journals and towering slush piles can feel daunting and competitive; the knowledge that you are part of a community whose aspirations overlap and even intertwine with yours—this makes the ocean feel a little less, well…oceanic. To be published is one thing; to be published alongside seven close friends, colleagues, and mentors is quite another.”

Congratulations, poets!  What a pleasure it is to know you and read your work.  We’re certainly happy now that your book is out in the world!



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