Vic Sizemore MFA ’09 works as an English professor at Central Virginia Community College and regulary writes in the mornings before starting his day. His story and essay collections will be published in March 2020.
Q: What cohort(s) would you say you are a part of?
Vic Sizmore: I started January of 2007 so my cohort was small. I guess I kind of feel a part of both the one before and the one after.
Q: What is a couple sentence summary of your post-MFA life?
Vic Sizmore: I’ve worked as an English professor at Central Virginia Community College since 2008. I’ve somehow managed to keep a regular writing schedule as well, getting up at 5:00 every morning and working on something for two hours before starting my actual day. My story collection I Love You I’m Leaving was published by Big Table Publishing in 2018, and my essay collection Goodbye My Tribe: An Evangelical Exodus is forthcoming with The University of Alabama Press in March of 2020.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories from the SPU MFA program?
Vic Sizmore: The first one that comes to mind is sitting out under the sky at St. John with a bunch of people, many of them in the MFA program but some of them there for the Glen. Kevin Funkhouser showed up with his guitar and we sang old pop songs with abandon, our voices ringing out in the thin Santa Fe air. Eventually security came and politely shut us down.
Another is skinny dipping in the Puget Sound at night with Chad Gusler, Jeff Parker, and Brian Volck. It was so cold my muscles ached and I thought I might cramp up. I figured if I did, Chad was a strong swimmer and could get me back to shore, and Brian was a doctor and could fix me up.
Another is sitting in the big room at Camp Casey listening to Emily Millikan sing. Her voice is so beautiful it will give you chill bumps.
Probably my favorite is from the Glen East post-MFA but still filed away in my MFA memory folder: sitting in the stairwell at the back of the dorm having drinks and rich conversation with Dan Bowman, Adele Gallogly, and Meg Sefton. A number of people came and hung out with us at various times, but the four of us were constant. My time with them was good for my soul.
Q: How has your participation in the program changed you? your writing? your faith?
Vic Sizmore: The biggest change to my writing is that it simply got me in a steady routine that I was able to carry into my post-MFA life. As for my faith, when I started the program, I was in the process of freeing myself once-and-for-all from the toxic fundamentalism of my childhood. It was heartening to be among people who were open minded and thoughtful, who were willing to listen and discuss without anger or judgment, but who also took matters of faith seriously.
Q: What are you reading right now?
Vic Sizmore: I’m reading The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, and several YA books from this past summer’s Freedom School, right now The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake.
Q: Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what are they?
Vic Sizmore: I sing in a garage rock and roll band. I’m not that good, but it sure is a lot of fun.
Q: If you could give advice to the newest cohort of SPU MFA graduates, what would you tell them?
Vic Sizmore: Sacrifice anything you have to, other than your health and well being--and that of your family--in order to guard your writing time.