On Laramie Summers

Well, summer’s (almost) gone. You noticed, I’m sure. You mourned, just as I did.

Luckily, Wyoming’s MFA students made the most of the few months we had. Countries visited include Poland, Romania, France, Hungary, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Italy, Canada, Spain, Uzbekistan, America (north, south, east, west). Subjects studied include boxing, bugs, fish(ing), wolves, carnivals, wine, and many others.

There are some places and subjects I’m forgetting—always, always.

But one of the great things about Wyoming’s program is summer funding. Students are ensured a productive few months between their two years here. This explains the excitement above.

Of course, there are some (me) who spend their time (and funding) only five blocks from the university. Yes, it’s been four months, save a few weeks in Indiana and Colorado, in Laramie, Wyoming.

Let me list the wonderful things I’ve encountered:

1) The Farmer’s Market in Laramie starts around July and lasts until about September. The streets downtown close off. People walk around, buy fresh, eat fresh. I’ve never tasted salsa better than the salsa I get here.

2) The silence you find between May and August in Laramie is unlike any silence you’ve known, unless you lived in the woods somewhere, and even then… Most of the students (half the population!) leave. It’s impossible not to get writing done.

3) The weather is gorgeous. Imagine 70s and 80s and a light breeze every day. Imagine it. Often Wyomingites experience winter and wonder how in the world they haven’t moved already. Summer is the reason. And, oh, what a good reason.

4) Naturally, the weather makes for good hiking. Within an hour of Laramie are Vedauwoo, Medicine Bow, and the Snowies. Allow me a cliché? It’s the great outdoors, seriously.

5) Jubilee Days are in July. Again, streets close down, bands play, beers abound. There’s dancing, food, fun.

6) Do you play lawn games? I do—Viking Chess, Cornhole, Bocci Ball, Badminton. You name the game, it’s here.

This is not me convincing you to spend all your time in Laramie. This is me saying Laramie provides a summer both relaxing and productive. I couldn’t ask for better.



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