Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

It is early on a Sunday morning. I’m sitting in the empty lobby bar at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, the splashy sound of a large indoor fountain echoing in the nearby atrium. Sunday morning diners drift in; departing travelers thread their way past enormous potted trees, the wheels of their carry-ons whirring rhythmically. This past weekend Queens MFA grads and some current students gathered for a reunion as we brought work samples – our essays or short stories, our novel or memoir excerpts, our poems or screenplays – and received feedback from editors, agents, instructors, and peers. We also heard from fellow writers who’ve been published and listened as they

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