University of Maine at Farmington senior Carrie Close is launching her first published book in April. She poses with her 8-month-old daughter, Zarya. She also has a 2-year-old son, Zephyr. Submitted photo

University of Maine at Farmington senior Carrie Close is launching her first published book in April, and will march in the university’s 2022 commencement ceremony in May when she graduates with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in creative writing.

Her book, “What Have I Done?,” is a collection of poems and short stories published by Unsolicited Press. The launch will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Emery Community Arts Center Flex Space at 164 Academy St. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature a reading by Close and be followed by a signing by the author.

A Farmington native, Close went to Farmington schools, attended Mt. Blue High School, and then on to college elsewhere in Maine. However, neither that nor a second college in Colorado met her needs, and she returned to Farmington, according to a news release from the university.

“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 2017 and was awarded the Alice James Director’s Chair Fellowship in 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.

“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 on applying to MFA programs in creative writing and finishing her novel.

For the school’s current COVID policy for visitors, go to maine.edu. For more information, email Ann Bartges, director of the UMF Emery Community Arts Center, at [email protected].

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