Laurel Milburn ’14 Nets Graduate Fellowship in Elite MFA Poetry Program

Apr 29, 2014

by Laura Hackett

Next fall, English Writing major Laurel Milburn ’14 will be joining Columbia College of Chicago’s elite MFA Poetry program on a fully funded Graduate Fellowship. Lasting two years, the program’s intensive curriculum is structured around workshops, craft seminars, and literature classes. While she explores a variety of poetic styles, Laurel will work on producing her own book-length manuscript of publishable quality, which will be the culmination of her studies.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “In addition to it being a great program, Columbia’s location really excites me. The city is a thriving, artistic community. There’s so much inspiration everywhere.”

Laurel says the opportunity would not have been possible without the help of the faculty and the experiences available for her at Florida Southern. During her four years as an undergraduate, Laurel worked as a tutor in the PENS writing lab, held the position of Literary Editor for FSC’s Cantilevers Journal of the Arts, and earned a minor in philosophy. She also started a campus poetry club called Speak Poetics.

“Simply getting into graduate school is difficult enough. I can’t believe I’m getting everything paid for on top of that. I can’t thank the English department enough.”

She especially gives credit to her mentor and professor Dr. Erica Bernheim, who teaches creative writing at FSC. Along with helping Laurel throughout the application process, Dr. Bernheim continuously challenged her to think creatively and keep writing.

As for post-graduate plans, Laurel doesn’t have a specific track yet. “Ideally, I want to be doing something creative and innovative every day, but right now I’m just living in the moment,” she said. “I’m thrilled for what’s to come.”