What Kind of Monster Are You?

I hope that this year, you are able to write in your life as it is and to tell the truth about what it has been to live that life, and that the forest beings and the city beings meet in your imagination, and that there on the balcony your oranges and coffee are waiting for you and that they are not facts but rather vectors, and that what you do end up writing has so much vitality, so much life, that it ends up melting the golden frame, and that if writing is impossible, if life does not feel possible, as it sometimes does not, that then, or even then, you can allow yourself to touch the edges of what is not you.

Bhanu Kapil’s Goddard College MFAW Commencement Speech

From Goddard College MFAW faculty member Bhanu Kapil:

Dear writers.

Dear graduates.

I would like to close today with a blessing upon your lives, and the writing to come; your own passage as writers in the world:

From the love that was given to me in my family, whether I knew it or not at the time.

From the desire to speak and write in a radical English, the English of a country that is not mine.

Dear writers.

I give you the number 76. I encourage you not to give up until you’ve tried something 76 times, whether that’s applying for a job, revising a draft or sending it out. I encourage you to write with endurance and abandon.

And I hope that you fail.

I hope that you fail in such a way that you start to shine, as brightly as you did when you first began.

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