It's an obligatory part of the MFA thesis reading: the thank you's. When I was writing mine, I realized two things: 1. Keep it short, and 2. Stick to people who are actually in the audience. It didn't make sense with the limited time we were allotted to thank people who weren't there to hear it. (Kind of like those people on Facebook who wish happy birthdays and anniversaries to people who aren't on Facebook: their two year old son, their dead grandmother.) So I kept the list to people who were there: my parents, my friends, my peers, my boyfriend. 

But really there are many people who have supported me, many people who have taught me about love and loss and compassion and what it is to live a creative life. There is a list of people who, had it not been for them, I would not have been up at that podium, reading the story I did in front of a room packed with people. 

1. My seventh grade English teacher.

2. My Aunt Chris.  

3. My brother.

4. My sister. 

5. Julia Alvarez.

6. Katie Raddatz.

7. That cab driver who took me home after the worst nights of my life. 

8. All of my ex-boyfriends

9. Richard Yates.

10. The Bread Loaf School of English.

11. Rae Paris.

12. My therapist.

13. Beyoncé