Sunday, August 2, 2009

Eric Tanyavutti (University of Illinois, 2012)

Hello! I’m very happy to be a contributor to this blog, and many thanks to Jonterri for putting this all together. My name is Eric Tanyavutti and I will be attending the University of Illinois’ MFA Program for fiction later this August. I think it goes without saying that I’m as filled with that special combination of excitement and anxiety as everyone else on this blog.

I loved reading everyone else’s bios. Here’s some info about myself: I’m 27 and was born and raised pretty much in the Chicago area. I earned a BS in Genetics from Purdue University about five years ago, and have been working as an editor in downtown Chicago for the past four years. A little bit about my heritage and parents, as they figure into what I sometimes write about: my mother is from Hong Kong and my father from Thailand. However, I grew up in a somewhat Americanized household that spoke no Chinese or Thai, and as such, was raised with uniquely Western and Eastern sensibilities. It was a very strange melding -- knowing no language but English, having all American friends, yet visiting Hong Kong and Bangkok nearly every summer as a child and teenager -- and looking back on it, those experiences had a heavy hand in shaping me into the person I am today.

I’m incredibly excited to start the school year! The University of Illinois’ MFA program is a small and intimate one, and when I was applying last fall, I didn’t think very much about the size of programs; all I knew was that I wanted to get into a funded one, very badly. But when it came down to decision time, I realized how important all the other, non-funding factors suddenly became. Would the students I’d spend the next three years with be kind, but critical of my work? Would they be genuinely nice people? Would the faculty be supportive and excited about my work? Would I want to live in a town that has a population of less than a hundred thousand? I was delighted to find that all the answers to my questions turned out to be yes, and I couldn’t be happier to spend my next three years at the University of Illinois.

I do have one blog that I’m going to plug here: It outlines my experiences on the MFA process dating all the way back to last fall when I decided to begin the arduous process of applying. At any rate, I’m very happy to be a contributor to The MFA Chronicles, and I look forward to reading everyone else’s experiences in the upcoming school year. Good luck!


  1. hey eric, the blog you posted in the end is a dead link!

  2. Cool, nice to meet you Eric! I'm really interested in meeting other writers who write about their cultural background. Definitely looking forward to reading more about your experiences.

  3. It amuses me how many of us responded to the stress of beginning an MFA by starting a blog. Guess great mind think alike. Link seems to be working now by the way.

  4. Hi Eric, nice to meet you. Your intro is well stated, I can't wait to read more from you.

  5. I am very eager to read!!
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