MFA Spotlight: Rachel Adine Phelps

Rachel Adine Phelps, a poet from Pennsylvania, now holds a Master’s Degree, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Pan-European Program here at Cedar Crest. This program allows students opportunities for intensive workshops all over Europe ranging in different creative areas like culture, literature, poetry, fiction, and more.

Phelps is inspired by Nordic, Greek, and numerous other genres of mythology. Many writers are constantly working to find their own style, their own work, and what makes them stand out in the community. Phelps knows who she is as a writer, what her goals are, and what she wants to show the world through her powerful words.

“I think that my work is distinct in the sense that I aim not only to tell my personal narrative with classical elements but also to reexamine the stories and lives of these characters while utilizing contemporary elements. I look for the connections. I believe deeply in our connections, our overlapping heartlines,” said Phelps.

Out of all writing genres, poetry seems to be one of Phelps’ specialties. Her poem “Settling” was even published in Bitterzoet Magazine just last year. Phelps started writing prose, a style that is very similar to poetry, and focused on it, but later realized poetry was the way to go and one of her favorite styles.

Phelps said, “in the beginning, when I was primarily reading prose, I focused on writing prose. I’ve written fiction and creative non-fiction and I still write a bit of the latter. I noticed that the more I wrote, the more concise I became, the more focused on the lyricism of language. My inclination was always poetry, only I hadn’t realized it.”

Phelps also teaches creative writing on campus. In her classes and workshops she offers advice to the writers in the room, but also writers across campus and anyone who wants to begin writing.

“The important thing to remember is that we can only do our very best. Every day, we are growing, as individuals and as writers, ” said Phelps. “The best we can do is listen, reflect, and then make the choice of how we will respond. The best thing we can do is choose to grow.”

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