“What Have I Done,” by Cassie Close Submitted photo

Carrie Close has a lot to celebrate this spring. As a graduating senior at University of Maine at Farmington she will also be marching in the commencement ceremony in May when she graduates with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in creative writing – and her first published book, “What Have I Done?”, a collection of poems and short stories published by Unsolicited Press, will be launched at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, in the Emery Community Arts Center Flex Space at UMF.

Carrie Close with her eight-month-old daughter, Zarya. She also has a two-year-old son, Zephyr. Submitted photo

The event is free and open to the public and will feature a reading by Close and will be followed by a signing by the author. For current UMaine System COVID policy for visitors, go to https://www.maine.edu/together/community-guidance/everyone/

A Farmington native, Close went to Farmington schools, attended Mt. Blue High School, and then went on to college elsewhere in Maine. However, neither that school nor a second college in Colorado met her needs and she returned to Farmington.“After a couple of attempts at college, I just wasn’t sure about the best path for myself going forward, but I followed the lure of Farmington’s Creative Writing program and applied and was accepted into the program, and I am so glad I did,” said Close.For Close, writing provides a way to process and cope with life’s experiences. She enrolled in Farmington’s Creative Writing program in the fall of 2017 and was awarded the Alice James Director’s Chair Fellowship in the fall of 2018. She took some time off from her studies when her grandfather died in 2019, but her focus has always been to understand her journey of self-discovery and tell the stories that would resonate with an adult audience.“Carrie is a gifted student who excelled in our writing workshop classes where students see themselves as writers and take their writing seriously,” said Jeff Thomson, UMF professor of creative writing. “She is a fearless writer of amazing honesty. She captures intimate moments that are fraught with consequence and nuance and pushes them beyond the bounds of the personal into the cultural and poetic.”“Many of the poems and short stories in my book came out of writing workshops I took while at UMF,” said Close. “My professors have all been incredible and provided me with the tools and guidance to become a published author. I have grown so much as a writer.”After graduating, Close plans to apply to MFA programs in creative writing and finishing her novel.

The University of Maine at Farmington creative writing program program invites students to work with faculty, who are practicing writers, in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing, and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing under the guidance of accomplished and published faculty mentors.

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