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The Mass Media

Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Created at UMB

Joyce Peseroff, Professor of English and Director of UMBs MFA in Creative Writing
Joyce Peseroff, Professor of English and Director of UMB’s MFA in Creative Writing

UMB’s new Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Creative Writing Program will begin matriculating students in September 2007. As for the competition in Boston, UMB is the only public university in eastern Massachusetts that offers an MFA in Creative Writing. In general, it is the only other graduate program in the Boson area that offers campus-based learning in creative writing – Boston University has a comparable program, but only offers their students the MA. Pine Manor also offers the MFA, but it is a low-residency program. In short, UMB’s program stands in a league of its own, as there is no other program in the Boston area that offers its students the parity of resources that, in Fall of 2007, graduate students in the Creative Writing program will have here.

Since there is already a well-established Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, “It just seemed natural to pull our resources together and create a graduate program,” explained Professor Peresoff, of the English Department. The resources Peresoff speaks of are the amazing faculty with experience in editing, publishing, translation, and teaching. The department also boasts an internship program, independent bookstores, and an online literary magazine that will be accessible to the campus. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to conduct collaborative projects with many campus-based research centers, such as William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture, and the Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies.

Above all, the Creative Writing Program’s undergraduate students have been the main motivation for the department to offer the MFA. Students have been asking for the opportunity to study creative writing at the highest academic level and still be able to attend an affordable public university in Boston. “Our students need to stay in the area, they are married, have jobs, and can’t just pack up and go to UMASS Amherst,” said Peresoff.

The MFA in Creative Writing is considered the terminal degree in the field. Therefore, there is a range of potential career options for a graduate of the program, including an academic career as a college-level teacher, arts administration, editing, and publishing.

The MFA in Creative Writing Program began accepting applications in September 2006. The application deadline is January 15, 2007. For fall 2007, the program anticipates ten students – five to focus on fiction and five on poetry and has the capacity to allow up to 30 students to study per year.

If you’re thinking about applying, remember, “The kind of conversations that go on here, don’t go on anywhere else.” This program offers the Boston resident interested in pursuing a future in creative writing a unique opportunity. Attend the Information Session, scheduled for Wednesday, November 15th, at 7pm in the Campus Book Store. For more information, you can also contact the Program Director, Joyce Peseroff, or go to the English Department’s website www.english.umb.edu.