Emily Rapp Raps


Author Emily Rapp with her son Ronan.

Santa Fe University is losing Emily Rapp, one of the most celebrated teachers in the Creative Writing Department, following fall semester. Rapp, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Poster Child, spent the last several years caring for her son Ronan, who died in February, 2013 from Tay-Sachs disease. The Still Point of the Turning World, Rapp’s book about the experience, received national attention and positive reviews, and also was chosen Best Book of the Month by Amazon for March 2013. Rapp recently learned she is pregnant with a baby girl. In the following interview, Rapp discusses her reasons for leaving and her plans for the future. Though she is leaving us, she will not be forgotten.

Jackalope Magazine: Why did you decide to leave SFUAD?

Emily Rapp: I decided to leave Santa Fe University because I wanted to focus more on writing. I taught the whole time my son was sick and dying and I felt I needed a change of scenery actually.

JM: Do you have any plans?

ER: Not so much for the spring, except for being in baby land. I have a lot of projects that are mid-completion that I want to work on. Not sure about the fall. We are just going to see what happens. Examine what comes in to the net and see where we go from there. Loose plans. Lot’s of “what ifs.”

JM: Any specific things you’re working on?

ER: I’m working on a novel. Oof. (laughs) That’s how I feel about that. I’m working on a couple non-fiction pieces. Sort of regular stuff I do on a monthly basis but mostly the novel. And sort of by default a screenplay, which is sort of a new thing for me.

JM: Do you see teaching in you future?

ER: Yeah I think so. I really love teaching. I just need some serious down time. Just a change of pace, so many things have changed in my life so I feel like I want to make a total change.

JM: Is there anything about SFUAD that you’ll miss?

ER: The students. You! I really love the people who work at SFUAD. The students are great. It’s not for any other reason than I think I’m starting a new phase in my life and needed a reboot. You guys are really lucky to have Matt, Dana, James, Liz, and Julia. They’re all really great people who could get jobs anywhere. I’ll really miss the camaraderie. I probably won’t miss the cafeteria that doesn’t exist. Or the non-existent Starbucks. Why isn’t there a Starbucks on campus?

JM: Was there anything you were excited about doing immediately?

ER: Reading. Working on my book. Just reading for fun.