Ep. 84: Jess Silfa | Vanderbilt University

What can you learn from a veteran of two MFA programs and an admin of the MFA Draft Facebook page? A lot! Jess Silfa joins Jared to talk about how living in New York, growing up in a Caribbean oral storytelling tradition, and being disabled has influenced their writing. They also discuss their decision to leave one MFA program for another, explain what makes Nashville a surprisingly supportive community, and offer advice for disabled applicants.

Jess Silfa is a writer and poet from the South Bronx. They hold an MFA from Vanderbilt University in Creative Writing (Fiction) and are currently pursuing their Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati. They have received a Displaced Artist Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Mae Fellowship, and a Ricardo Salinas Scholarship for Aspen Summer Words. Jess serves as President for the Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus and helps run the MFA Draft Facebook group. Jess’s first novel, the story of a tight-knit immigrant community rattled by the war on drugs, goes on submission this fall. Learn more at www.jesilfa.com.

Headshot of Jess Silfa
Headshot of Jess Silfa

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