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Patrick D

- Research Program Mentor

MFA at New York University

Expertise

Literature; Creative Writing; Religious Studies; Philosophy; Theology; German Language

Bio

I’m a fiction writer and armchair philosopher. I have a BA in English Literature, an MA in Theology, and an MFA in Creative Writing. I geek out on fiction, poetry, existentialism and ancient religious texts. I’ve studied Latin, Koine Greek, and German. A certain 4th century theologian named Origen had an idea of heaven as an eternal classroom, and I am in full agreement. There’s nothing more rewarding than the life of the mind. The universe is a place of infinite mystery—and awe and wonder are the way in. I’m also a creative writer. I’ve published a dozen stories—one of which you can find in an anthology by Penguin Press. I've also published poetry and haiku. Currently, I’m at work on my second novel. It took me a while to learn the craft. Along the way, I attended the Clarion Writer’s Workshop in San Diego, an environment friendly to writers of fantasy and science fiction—one of my first loves (Tolkien or Ursula LeGuin anyone?). As a graduate (2021) of the Masters of Fine Arts program at New York University, I studied with writers like Joyce Carol Oates and Jonathan Safran Foer. I love how fiction can give the reader an experience of what it is like to be someone else. One of my favorite things is to see students fall in love with stories and wake up to their own creativity. But creativity is not always easy and spontaneous, and it helps to have guides along the way.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Creative Writing - Storytelling and Poetry

Maybe you love to read, but you don’t know how to go about writing stories or poetry of your own? Or maybe you’ve written creatively and you’re looking to “level-up” your writing? Whether you are interested in “being a writer” or you simply want to explore poetry or story-telling or poetry “from within,” there is a great deal to be learned by doing it yourself! The goal: we will work together to bring one or more pieces of creative writing (stories, poetry, autobiography, theatre plays, personal essays, or anything else you can think of) into a finished form, something you can be proud of. I will share knowledge I’ve gained through my own writing and researching, as well as lessons I’ve learned from various established writers in programs I’ve attended—the Clarion Writer’s Workshop and NYU’s MFA. We will also look at your favorite stories or poems and “reverse-engineer” them to see how they achieve their effects and why they resonate. In other words, we will look for lessons and techniques we can “steal” for your own work!

Reading the Classics

How should a person live? What is wisdom? Why do we not feel at home in the world? Let’s explore these questions, and others, by going to the deepest thinkers we can find. This is a chance to study a text, or a couple texts, of substantial insight and to grapple with it through a research project, a conference paper, an oral presentation, or even through a piece of creative writing. Some ideas: literary classics like Milton’s Paradise Lost or Shakespeare’s plays; spiritual classics like Augustine’s Confessions, the Bhagavad Gita, or Pascal’s Pensees, of the writings of the Zen master Dōgen. Philosophical texts are also fair game: e.g. Plato’s Apology or Kierkegaard’s Sickness Unto Death. Let’s dive into the Big Questions.

Literature Deep-Dive

Is there an author, or a book, you’ve wanted to read but haven’t had a chance? Let’s design a study course together around it. We’ll talk about writing technique, literary theory, historical criticism, and more. A final project might include a research project, a conference paper, or an oral presentation. Critical and analytical thinking will be the goal.

Languages I know

German; basic Latin; Koine Greek

Teaching experience

I taught an undergraduate course in Creative Writing at NYU, where students wrote poetry and short stories. I've led poetry writing sessions for mature students at Roosevelt Island’s Coler-Goldwater Hospital. I've taught masterclasses in creative writing, specifically genre fiction. I've tutored undergraduate students in essay writing. I was the editor-in-chief of my university newspaper, and I mentored the staff writers in basic writing skills.

Credentials

Work experience

New York University (2020 - 2020)
Graduate Student Instructor
Coler-Goldwater Hospital (2019 - 2020)
Writer Instructor
Kings University - private hire (2014 - 2014)
Assistant Editor
Kings University (2011 - 2012)
Editor-in-Chief of school newspaper

Education

Kings University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2012)
English Literature
Regent College
MA Master of Arts (2014)
Theology
New York University
MFA Master of Fine Arts
Creative Writing

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