After I graduated high school in ’99 in the Chicago suburbs, I moved to Chicago proper where there was simply more happening in terms of art, music, and culture. I would frequent thrift and vintage stores like Ragstock and Hollywood Mirror, where alternative magazines like Lumpen and Newcity exposed me to communist politics and early Chris Ware comics, respectively. To me, Newcity was everything urban and alternative, and as my new local magazine, it heralded a big change from the suburban newspapers touting the local high school band’s achievements. Years later, when I saw a MAPH internship for Newcity, my heart skipped a beat. Surely if I could intern for such an established, long-running magazine (25 years and counting), I would be a part of something important, gaining knowledge about publishing and Chicago alike.
I began the Odyssey Project internship knowing its reputation for being a choose-your-own adventure process and an exercise in multitasking. I left the summer feeling like the internship had transformed in ways I never had imagined.
Unlike the interns before me, I didn’t teach a class as part of my summer internship, but I was, instead, more involved with the inner workings of the Odyssey Project concerning preparations for a new group of students and getting ready for another year of the program. While some of the work involved typical “intern” tasks like printing posters, folding, cutting, stapling, answering phone calls, and mailing applications, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the freedom I was given to create my own workload and choose an internship trajectory that fit my interests.
A guest post by Jeff McMahon, MAPH Writing Advisor (MAPH ‘ 02)
S.W. (Steven) Flores (MAPH ’10) has a story in the current issue of Contrary that satirizes creative writing workshops at their less than optimum. Flores is a second-year MFA student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
His story is in no way reflective of the UW-Madison MFA, he says, which he “loves to death!”, or of workshops at Chicago, but the story may be influenced by some other workshops he’s experienced.
“And, really, it’s just fiction.”
Oh, but is fiction ever just fiction? Continue reading
Film historian, writer, and filmmaker Stephen Tapert, who earned his M.A. from The University of Chicago in 2002 and later worked at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is set to curate his first exhibition at the world’s largest film museum: The Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin, Italy. Continue reading
“Find the place that scares you most and run to it.” — Eric McMillan (MAPH ‘10) on writing and, well, life
Last night, while leading eight current MAPH creative writers on an uphill March from the Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center to Von Trapp’s in Capitol Hill, I was marveling (aloud, perhaps unfortunately for my companions) about what going to the AWP conference can do for an aspiring writer. We were on our way to the second-ever MAPH/UChicago Alumni offsite reading at AWP. Earlier that morning, my colleague A-J Aronstein and I had stopped by a panel featuring the poet and teacher—and reader at last year’s offsite event—Shaindel Beers (MAPH ‘00) entitled the “Art of Difficulty.” Using beautiful language, Shaindel described teaching poetry students in prisons, schools, etc. as finding a way of “giving permission.” To write, one has to believe that they have something worth saying, a voice worth hearing. To Shaindel, it is a writing teacher’s job to nurture that belief, to create a space for it to thrive.
When I was an undergrad, I interned at a production company in Los Angeles. I answered phones, made sure the coffee pot was always full, battled daily with the copy machine, and was once awarded the great responsibility of driving to Saks Fifth Avenue to pick up not one, but three pairs of pants for Samuel L. Jackson. I mention this not to brag (although if you’re impressed, who could blame you?), but to demonstrate that what has really distinguished my experience as an intern at Browne & Miller Literary Associates is the fact that my summer here has been more rewarding, informative and valuable than I ever believed was possible in an internship. Continue reading
Reaching out to the city’s newcomers, this week’s Newcity (“The Chicago Manual”) explores life at UChicago and in the South Side. The issue features pieces by three 2013 MAPHers: Greg Langen’s reflections on the value of embracing CTA-derived anonymity, Amanda Scotese’s guide to on-campus architecture, and Charlie Puckett’s breakdown of an exciting new Hyde Park establishment. Continue reading