Fall and Winter 2023-2024 Mapmakers Alumni Institute Videos Now Available

Through the Fall 2023 and into the Winter 2024, the Pacific MFA in Writing program once again hosted two sessions of the Mapmakers Alumni Institute, both hosted by Mapmakers Scholar Angela Wang MFA '23 (Nonfiction). Videos of both events are now available!

In October, Angela presented "The Human in Humor," featuring Sanjiv Bhattacharya and Bernard Cooper. Angela framed the conversation by emphasizing that as writers, we sometimes forget or underutilize the inherent superpower of the absurd residing inside all of us. And yet, our readers’ being “in on the joke” is often exactly what makes humor such a compelling vehicle for emotional truth-telling. Angela wrote her critical essay for her Pacific MFA on Cooper’s memoir, Bill from My Father, where humor plays a large craft element in the storytelling and in showing us underlying complexity in various family relationships. In nonfiction work by Sanjiv Bhattacharya, we also see and hear his unique and wry sense of humor through dialogue and scene. We also feel a deep sense of humility and empathy through his memoir writing because he is often making fun of himself. 

In January, Angela continued her focus on humor with a panel titled "Funny Because It's (Mostly) True," and brought  together writers Ann Imig and Allison Ellis for a conversation about how prose writers tackle difficult topics (like mortality, death, grief, betrayal, rivalry, etc.) with both honesty and humor.

A graduate of the MFA in Writing program at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, Angela Wang was a recipient of the Kwame Dawes Mapmakers Scholarship. She currently resides in Seattle with her family.

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024