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Creative Writing Student Stories

Jeannine Cook, MFA Creative Writing ’21

Jeannine Cook, MFA Creative Writing ’21 - Drexel Graduate Student

When you aren’t studying or working, how do you like to spend your time?

I like to eat food! I like trying new restaurants in Philadelphia. I travel a lot for one of my jobs — I do public relations for an artist, and in doing that work I’ve been all over the world, really. So, eating in those other countries is very fun for me.

Civil engagement is very important in this program. How has engaging with your community impacted your work?

That’s always been at my foundation, right? Coming to Philly, I went to UArts and studied specifically in a program that was about social consciousness (socially conscious digital journalism). It wasn’t just writing for writing’s sake, but to get at something that would impact and encourage change.

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Angel Hogan, MFA Creative Writing ’21

Angel Hogan, MFA Creative Writing ’21 - Drexel Graduate Student

Where are you from? Where do you currently live?

I grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania. In addition to 30 or so award-winner Quarter horses, through the years my family raised and loved dozens of chickens, and 14 barn cats. Also goats, dogs, rabbits and pet rats. I now happily call West Philadelphia my home.

Tell us a little about your family.

My current family includes my Mom, who lives in Merida, the capital of Yucatan. I have two much beloved older brothers; one lives with his family outside the city, and the other is incarcerated. I am incredibly blessed to have an extended chosen family of close friends. My tribe also includes a cat named Mamacita and dog called Busker Xunan-Coal Hogan, MC.

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Adele McKenna, MFA Creative Writing ’21

Adele McKenna - MFA Creative Writing Student at Drexel University

Can you tell us a bit about your home/family? How do they inspire your work?

I was born and raised in Benoni, South Africa, and I moved to the U.S. when I was 18 (Fun fact: English was my second language growing up — my first was Afrikaans!). I lived in various places in New Jersey for nearly a decade until my husband and I moved to Philly in 2017 (we love it here).

I live with my husband and our three cats in a one-bedroom apartment (don’t tell the landlord). All four of them are really supportive of my writing — especially the cats who love to jkrgsh;orgartdkgbaghhhhhhh.

Favorite book, movie, music, or work of art?

This is an impossible question … I love all those things and have way too many favorites to choose from. More people should read “Anna Karenina,” though. I’ll also advocate for Harry Potter until I die.

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Leah Mele, MFA Creative Writing ’21 and BA Political Science ’15

Leah Mele, MFA Creative Writing ’21 and BA Political Science ’15

Who/what do you find inspiration in?

Strong female voices: Joan Didion, Jean Rhys, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jesmyn Ward, Sylvia Plath, Mary Karr, Jeanette Walls, Miranda July, Mary Gaitskill and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Favorite book, movie, music, or work of art?

Book: “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. I'm a horror movie fan. My favorite is Silence of the Lambs, and all works of M. Night Shyamalan.

What is one of your favorite places in the world? Why?

One of my favorite places to be is running on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, outside of Washington D.C. I train for marathons, and it's my favorite place to get my long runs done.

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Lexi Reader, MFA Creative Writing ’21

Lexi Reader, MFA Creative Writing ’21 - Drexel Graduate Student

Who/what do you find inspiration in?

I find inspiration in the love I have for my family. Also, that I have close friends who support me. The admiration I have for these people makes me feel very lucky, and that inspires me to share my happiness and ideas with the world through my writing.

Favorite book, movie, music, or work of art?

My favorite book would have to be “Stolen” by Lucy Christopher. My favorite movie is a tie between the 2005 version of “Pride and Prejudice” and the 1983 TV miniseries “Thorn Birds.” As for work of art, it would be “The Starry Night” by Van Gogh.

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Prospective Students

Please email or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!