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Eileen Holowka

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Why did you choose creative writing at Concordia?

The MA in creative writing was always kind of a dream program for me. I love that it provides the opportunity to combine both creative writing and academia. I feel like this combination has opened up way more possibilities for me along the way in all the ways these two 'fields' work together, conflict, and intersect.

What is special about writing in and from Montreal?

I am still figuring out the answer to this question. I got so tied up in the romantic angst of being a Winnipeg poet that it's a little hard to let go. There have been some powerful works of translation and bilingualism from Montreal that have caught my eye. I'm thinking of Rue by Melissa Bull, particularly.

The writing community is definitely a key part of the writing in Montreal. There are so many events here, so many amazing writers coming to share their work. Readings are like rock shows here, everyone is cheering and drunk. It is a beautiful and addicting environment.

How has the program helped your writing?

The biggest advantage of the program is that it offers me space and time to write where other, more academic programs, often suck up all my time. I am a notorious procrastinator so it is nice to have a reason, or deadline, to write for. It has given me the chance to write a lot of garbage, but the more garbage I produce the more I learn from my mistakes. (I hope!)

What advice do you have for other students before beginning their MA?

Be open and ready to take opportunities. There are more than you might realize: teaching, organizing events and conferences, research assistantships, opportunities to read your work in public, chances to write during symphony shows, running workshops, learning how to make digital games, and more and more.

 My favourite thing about Concordia so far has been the strong community of students. I feel like I've learnt the most from watching my peers: the way they push the boundaries of class conversations, organize amazing community events, and create unbelievable works of art.

What's your current writing project?

I am writing a digital lyric essay about sexual trauma, memory, abuse, internet harassment, and the act of narrating these experiences both on and off-line. 

What are your plans for the future?

Keep on doing what I'm doing: writing, editing, studying, programming, creating. Luckily, Concordia has allowed me to keep exploring all of these interests.

Is there anywhere we can find your work online?

Yes, thanks for asking! My most recent piece is up on Word and Colour, an online literary journal run by one of Concordia's current grad students Liam Lachance. I also have poetry online at Lemon Hound and CV2

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