Sarah Blackman

a woman standing outside

“I was in the MFA program at Bama from 2003-2007. I entered as a fiction writer but my first writing love had always been poetry and I wanted to do both. At Alabama, I didn’t have to choose. I took workshops in both genres, literature classes in both genres, wrote two thesis and defended them both. Along the way, I learned how to break down the barriers I had put in place between the two and write a kind of fiction that treated language as a crack in the door through which something Other peered. The Alabama MFA also gave me an opportunity to get experience in many different kinds of writing life professionalization.

I taught rhet/comp classes, lit. classes and creative writing classes. I helped found a summer literary club for high school kids and was a reader and editor for the Black Warrior Review. Now, I teach creative writing in an arts high school (a job I never would have been qualified for without all that varied teaching experience); have worked in an editorial capacity for DIAGRAM for thirteen years (a connection I made through Bama cohort) and am on the board at FC2 who exemplifies that weird language thing in fiction I was talking about earlier and where I get to keep in touch with lots of Alabama folk. I owe a lot to the UA MFA program professionally. Personally, I met my best friends, my lifelong teachers, my partner and father to my future kids all in Tuscaloosa.”

Sarah Blackman is the Director of Creative Writing at the Fine Arts Center, a public arts high school in Greenville, South Carolina. Her story collection Mother Box was the winner of the 2012 Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize and was published by FC2 in 2013. Her novel, Hex, was published by the same press in April, 2016. In 2018, she joined the board of FC2. She is the co-fiction editor of DIAGRAM, the online journal of experimental prose, poetry and schematics, and the founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school age writers which she edits alongside her students at the Fine Arts Center.