Matthew Salesses, MFA '10
What are you currently working on?
I am writing a column and editing fiction for the Good Men Project, and I also published a novella, The Last Repatriate (Nouvella Books), in November. I am sending a novel around, currently titled The Hundred-Year Flood, which was my thesis at Emerson. I'm also revising something new, The Murder of the Doppelganger, about a man who goes looking for his doppelganger, who he is convinced must have a better life than his. And I am ordering stories for a collection, How Tos for the Lonely Traveler.
Could you describe one person, experience, or series of events at Emerson that shifted the course of your career, and/or that illustrates one of Emerson’s core attributes of creativity, collaboration, risk taking, and excellence?
Editing Redivider, the graduate literary journal, was one of the highlights of Emerson for me. The journal has made amazing leaps since its first issues, and it was so fun and satisfying to have a hand in its progress. Getting a look at the other side of publishing was really helpful to my writing, and gave me the chance to meet some great writers and people. I still have many friends from my time working on it, and I continue to edit.
Is there an example of how a faculty member aided you with your career?
I had some helpful workshops with Rick Reiken, Mako Yoshikawa, and Kim McLarin, but my greatest debt is to Margot Livesey. Margot was my thesis adviser and I also took two workshops with her. I basically asked her to read everything I had ever written, and she responded with such warmth and generosity (and wisdom--my gosh, her wisdom!). What would I have done without her?
Are you professionally connected to other Emersonians?
Happily, I still keep in touch with several classmates. It's a relief to know there is someone out there who will give me thoughtful and incisive criticism and still be my friend after I throw a tantrum.
What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to Emerson students?
Try to make relationships that will last. Be friendly. Do favors without hoping that they will be returned. Recommend the books and stories and poems you love.