Alumni Interview: Vicki Hudson (MFA, Creative Non Fiction, '08)

Vicki Hudson, the War Veteran, Head Coach of a Highly ranked Women’s Rugby Team, Mother, and Passionate Wordsmith, talks telling the story no one else can tell, not wasting time, and being a constructive critic, in this Alumni Interview. Take a Look!

Alumni Vicki Hudson

Vicki Hudson, Nonfiction, 2008

Job Title: Head Coach, University of San Francisco, Women’s Club Rugby Team (part time) Mom, Full time. Writer, When I have time.

 

Currently reading: Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Kurt Vonnegut Letters, Rugby Skills, Tactics & Rules, 4th Ed, and various text books for an A.S. degree in coaching and sport management.

 

Currently writing/ upcoming projects/Publications:

Literal: Defining Moment. Experimental language poetry collection.

Weekend Warrior: Sister in Arms. Narrative essays recounting a thirty-three year career.

Diabetic Diarist: Food and Function. A memoir.

No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique. Book in revision for second edition.

I’ve also been asked to lead a writers workshop as part of Yolo Arts for a veterans project in May.

 

Where do you live? Where are you from? Where did you get your undergraduate degree?

I live in Hayward. I was born in Rochester, NY. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I went to college at University of Florida in Gainesville, FL (AA English) and University of Central Florida in Orlando (BA Liberal Arts)

 

Where do you work and what’s your job title?

I retired from the United States Army in 2012. I am an at home mom with two kids, (7 and 4 yrs), I coach rugby at the University of San Francisco and I write within all that. I’m also doing some additional course work in sports management.

 

What have you been up to since graduating from the program?

Coach rugby, writing. I’m the administrator for the collegiate division II women’s conference.

 

What are you working on now?

Literal: Defining Moment. Experimental language poetry collection.

Weekend Warrior: Sister in Arms. Narrative essays recounting a thirty-three year career.

Diabetic Diarist: Food and Function. A memoir.

No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique. Book in revision for second edition.

Applying to workshops.

 

Recent publications or accomplishments?

Book Review: Paradise Drive by Rebecca Foust, Poets’ Quarterly (22 August 2015)

Panelist, Unsung Epics: Women Veterans’ Voice, AWP Conference 2016, (with Lauren Halloran, Mary Doyle, Mariette Kalinowski, Jerri Bell).

Panelist, Veteran Poetry Reading, AWP Conference 2016, (with Jeb Herrin, Karen Skolfield, Soul Vang).

 

Why did you choose to earn your MFA Degree and what made you pick Saint Mary’s?

Hmm, funny story that. I had returned from Iraq a few months before I applied. As soon as I returned, I began graduate work for a Master in Family Therapy. After three quarters of that I decided I wanted writing more than becoming a therapist. I checked all the local programs and all the deadlines were long past. Except for SMC, I had only missed it by a couple weeks or so. I called up and asked if I could still submit. I was told I could, so I did.

 

How did your experience in the MFA program affect your writing and creative growth?

The time in the MFA program enabled me to focus on a project I’d been compiling work for, for over ten years, the collection of essays about my military career became my thesis.

 

Do you have any advice for prospective or current MFA candidates? Or writers in general?

Get some life experience before you go for the MFA. Know what you want for your thesis project and use the full two years for developing that. Don’t go into debt for a degree that won’t get you a job. Use the time fully and give your best effort. Become someone that your classmates want to hear from when critiquing. That means really work at providing good useful input. Make sure you do an internship in Composition. You won’t get a teaching position without it. If you want to be challenged scholarly – get your MFA in poetry. In a way, poetry provides a foundation for everything else.

For writers in general – tell your story, No one else can. There are lots of ways to educate yourself in the profession of writing. The MFA isn’t for everyone. It’s a grand investment in yourself and worth the time and effort. But it isn’t the only way to become a successful author.

 

What role does your MFA and writing as a whole play in your career currently?

My writing is concurrent with the other major timesucks of my life. I balance my family, rugby, additional education, writing workshops, and creative writing projects all together.

 

Why do you write? 

Interesting question. I ran a writing contest for almost ten years and that was the question that had to be answered as part of the entry. Karma!

I write because I have a story that is mine and no one else’s. If I don’t tell it, no one will know it. My story is unique, and at the same time, universal and the task is tell my unique story in a manner that will resonate with someone else out there in the wild of life. If I accomplish that, then I bridge the space between Other, bringing us closer rather than farther apart.

I write because my voice wants to be heard. And someone out there, wants to listen.

 

Jordon Briggs is a writer, filmmaker, and music producer from California, and sort of New York, who has been published in Entropy Magazine, From Sac Literary Magazine, The Black Rabbit Magazine, and Calaveras Station Literary Journal. He writes about film, music, and other culture and media related topics on his blog whatsbeenscene.tumblr.com. ​​