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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Creative Writing Outlets at UMB

Several creative writing outlets for students are offered at UMass Boston, and a good place to start is the Creative Writing Program (CWP) offered to students through the English department.

The CWP is designed for matriculated and non-matriculated students with an interest in writing poems, stories, novels, or plays. The program can be taken independently or in conjunction with a degree program and can be completed in four to six semesters. A few seniors are invited to work for honors courses in creative writing by completing an intensive year-long program beginning each fall.

“UMB has a really strong creative writing program,” says CW student Darrell Penta. The program has faculty members who teach writing courses that range from intro to CW to Advanced Fiction Workshops. Some CW faculty members were present at the Creative Writing Open House to answer questions about the program last Wednesday, September 22.

Creative writing professor, Tom O’Grady, teaches intro to creative writing. He tells his students at the start of every semester, “For the next fourteen weeks, think of yourselves as writers.” In his intro class, his students work with shorter lyric poetry and short-short fiction, otherwise known as “flash” fiction.

O’Grady specializes in Irish literature and teaches with the “low-profile” Irish Studies Program at UMB. Since his arrival at UMB in the fall of 1984, the Irish studies program, like many programs here, has been suffering from the on-going fiscal crisis. O’Grady recently had two short stories published: “Fire and Ice” in The Nashwaak Review and “Underfoot” in Harvard Review.

Joyce Peseroff teaches “Reading and Writing Poetry” with the CWP. She began as a visiting poet at UMB and eventually ended up teaching with the program. Peseroff has new poems in the Fall 2004 Gettysburg Review.

Lloyd Schwartz teaches an advanced poetry workshop. His essay “Gracie and Me,” along with a reprint of his poem “Goodnight Gracie,” was published in Prime Times: Writers on Their Favorite TV Shows.

CW faculty member John Fulton teaches “Reading and Writing Fiction.” His short story, “Hunters,” will be published in the Fall 2004 issue of Southern Review.

CWP director Askold Melnyczuk teaches an advanced fiction workshop. A chapter from his recently completed novel, Blind Angels, will appear in the Gettysburg Review.

UMB has two windows of opportunity for students who wish to publish their work. The first is UMB’s literary journal The Watermark, which is now accepting original poetry, non-fiction, fiction and art submissions for their first ever Fall issue, as well as the Spring 2005 edition. The deadline for the Fall issue is October 20. Tom O’Grady encourages students in his classes who want their work published to submit their work to The Watermark. He commented, “Stay close to home for starters. The Watermark is a great place to start.”

Also here on campus is an editor of Hanging Loose Press (HLP) literary journal, Mark Pawlak, who is also the Director of Academic Support Programs. Hanging Loose Press is a small independent press that has published poems, stories, drawings, and photographs from hundreds of contributors since 1966.

The interest of HLP has centered on writers who are not widely known, but many, like fiction writer Sherman Alexie, have gone on to establish major reputations. Additionally, they have a regular section of work by high school students. Internship positions are available and for those interested, visit www.hangingloosepress.com.

On Wednesday October 6, novelist Colm Toibin will give a reading from 2:30 – 4 p.m. in Wheatley Hall, sixth floor, room 47. For more information about the CWP or upcoming events, contact the program director Askold Melnyczuk at [email protected].