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Photo of the creative writing faculty

Creative Writing Program


The three year M.F.A. program in Creative Writing gives promising fiction writers and poets an opportunity to practice their art with dedicated fellow writers. This close-knit community is committed to addressing the challenges of the literary process and concentrates on the craft and quality of literary writing. For nearly five decades, one of the prime strengths of our program has been the excellence of our students. The strictly limited enrollment, with six poets and six fiction writers admitted each year, guarantees that students work closely together with a faculty that includes eight full time faculty of national acclaim and one renowned Visiting Writer a year. Students are selected on the basis of academic credentials and writing samples. High admission standards and small class size ensure that students' writing receives thorough, consistent attention from faculty and fellow students. The faculty include Michael Burkard, Arthur Flowers, Brooks Haxton, Mary Karr (fall semester), Christopher Kennedy, George Saunders (fall semester), Bruce Smith and Dana Spiotta.  A sample of past Visiting Writers: Heidi Julavits, Amy Hempel, Gary Lutz, Lynne Tillman, Brain Evenson, Christine Schutt and Rivka Galchen.

Students are presented with opportunities to teach in The Writing Program (a separate academic unit, specializing in composition) and in the Living Writers course, featuring prominent guest writers from the Raymond Carver Reading Series. Also, students can gain valuable editing and publishing experience through participation in Salt Hill, an award-winning campus literary magazine.During its nearly 50-year history, the Creative Writing Program has produced an outstanding array of writers whose work has been published by major presses and magazines and won prestigious awards. Distinguished alumni include Tom Perrotta, Jay McInerney, Larry Levis, and Claire Messud. Recent graduates are M.T. Anderson G‘98, Rebecca Curtis G’01, Phil LaMarche G’03 and Adam Levin G’ 04.

Click here to see a video and to read more about the program's legacy.

Click here to view photos from the program's panel discussion in Los Angeles, held April 1, 2013.



Faculty members include (L-R) Sarah Harwell G'05, Arthur Flowers, Dana Spiotta, Mary Karr, Christopher Kennedy G'88 (director), George Saunders G'88, and Michael Burkard. Not pictured are Bruce Smith and Brooks Haxton G'81.