MFA Alumna Erin Slaughter Publishes Short Story Collection
- Joseph Shoulders
- Friday, May 28th, 2021
WKU MFA alumna Erin Slaughter recently announced that her debut story collection A Manual for How to Love Us will be published by Harper Perennial in summer 2022. The book was pitched as “reminiscent of Alissa Nutting and Samantha Hunt, about the animalistic nature of women’s grief, which queers the domestic and honors the feral and fantastic ways women embrace their wild to claim control.” Slaughter also has published two books of poetry—The Sorrow Festival (CLASH Books, 2022) and I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun (New Rivers Press, 2019)—and two poetry chapbooks—GIRLFIRE (dancing girl press, 2018) and Elegy for the Body (Slash Pine Press, 2017).
Slaughter discussed the role WKU had in the development of her writing career. She said, “My time in the MFA program at WKU was truly meaningful, and set the tone for who I became as a writer, a literary citizen, a publisher, a friend, and a person. Multiple short stories in my forthcoming collection, A Manual for How to Love Us, were drafted in Bowling Green, workshopped in Cherry Hall, and shaped by the encouragement of Dr. David Bell and former professor Dr. Rebbecca Brown. The MFA program's openness to cross-genre work was foundational for my freedom to explore different interpretations of what ‘fiction’ can be; the faculty and my cohorts were foundational for inspiring me to think deeply about how to translate human complexity into art.
“WKU provided me with a supportive writing community that helped me push my craft further and made me feel genuinely valued as I weathered the many rejections a writing career inevitably holds. The oldest story in this collection was the application sample that earned me a place at WKU, and the newest was written during the pandemic for a virtual workshop with some of my former MFA cohorts: from beginning to end, this book has been influenced by my experiences in the program. Most important is the community of writers and friends and writing-friends I built there, who continue to sustain me in so many ways today.”
Dr. David Bell shared his thoughts on her success. He said, "Erin was always a talented writer. She walked in the door of Cherry Hall a talented writer. And she excelled—and has continued to excel—in three genres. Fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction. Erin worked hard and sent her work out over and over again. She approached writing in a professional manner from the very beginning, and her success, while unique and rare, is not a surprise."
Dr. Dale Rigby, who directed Slaughter's MFA thesis, described the writer's talents. He said, "Remember distinctly discovering Erin Slaughter's application to our inaugural MFA cohort, when we weren't sure we'd be able to pull it off, and feeling like the goddesses granted fledgling we with a lottery pick. Validation. Tres multi-genre talented, putting the Renaissance into writer, I most prize the breadth of empathy I've witnessed in Erin's writing and her teaching and her very being. Can't wait to read her work of short stories and the memoir that is no doubt on the horizon."
Congratulations to Erin! Check out her writing at her website here.