“Writing Is a Spiritual Exercise”: Jessica Eddings-Roeser

Click here to read Jessica Eddings-Roeser’s essay (first published at the Art House America blog) “Exchanging the Lie for Truth,” in which she discusses teaching at a public high school, and how “my students remind me, even as they tire me out: it’s my job as the artist to be present.”

Eddings-Roeser graduated from the Seattle Pacific MFA program in 2010 with a concentration in fiction. She currently lives with her husband in Dallas, Texas, and teaches creative writing, college reading, and Spanish at Berkner High School. Her essay “If As a Kid” is forthcoming in the June 2011 issue of Rock and Sling.

Eddings-Roeser had this to say about Seattle Pacific University’s MFA Program:

“Before enrolling in the MFA program at SPU, I never told anyone that I was a writer. I felt like it was a hobby that I loved, but not necessarily an activity that I could justify given the needs of my family, students, and the hurting world.

As I progressed in the program, however, I learned to see writing as a spiritual exercise.  It became a daily ritual that  changed me, and aided those around me. I’m still shy about saying, “I’m a writer,” but the mentors have prepared me to pair writing with my life even as I live it.

I don’t have to become a different person with less responsibility so that I can write. Writing is  an essential part of who I am, and can offer a soothing balm to the world around me.”