Lesley University :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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Lesley University

MFA Program in Creative Writing

Contact Information:

29 Everett St.

Cambridge, MA 02420

Website: www.lesley.edu/mfa-creative-writing

Program director: Steven Cramer

Program contact: Jana Van der Veer

Phone: (617) 349-8369

Email: jvanderv@lesley.edu

Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: low-residency

Genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for stage & screen, writing for young people

Length of program: 2 years

Enrollment: 100

Total credits required: 49

Application deadlines: 9/1 for January/spring residency; 3/1 for June/fall residency

Scholarships available: yes (see website)

Assistantships: no

Core faculty: Erin Belieu, Anne Bernays, Jami Brandli, Barry Brodsky, Jane Brox, Sharon Bryan, Teresa Cader, Rafael Campo, Leah Hager Cohen, Pat Lowery Collins, Jackie Davies, David Elliott, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Tony Eprile, Laurie Foos, Susan Goodman, Joan Houlihan, Alexandra Johnson, Rachel Kadish, Hester Kaplan, Michael Lowenthal, Bill Lychack, Chris Lynch, Rachel Manley, Cate Marvin, Kyoko Mori, Ronan Noone, Pamela Petro, Kevin Prufer, Christina Shea, Kate Snodgrass, Justin Torres, Sinan Ünel, A.J. Verdelle, Sara Zarr

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Reading series: yes (see website)

Recent visiting writers: Nikky Finney, Jack Gantos, Louise Glück, Vivian Gornick, Tom Perotta, Theresa Rebeck

Program description: The MFA Program in Creative Writing is a low-residency program that allows students, with the oversight of a faculty mentor, to design their own concentrations in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for stage and screen, or writing for young people. A nine-day residency begins each semester with an exciting program of seminars, workshops, readings, and the chance to design the semester's program of study. Students work independently during the semester, under the guidance of their faculty mentor.

Lesley’s interdisciplinary approach constitutes a three-fold recognition: that the borders between artistic genres have become ever more porous; that contemporary writers must be alert to new models of career preparation; and, perhaps most importantly, that along with avid reading and writing, there are always other passions that feed a writer’s imagination. Students design individual, 3-credit interdisciplinary projects for the first three of their four distance-learning semesters. The options for these projects are multiple—in some cases, students take Lesley or AIB courses; others develop independent studies or work as publishing interns, teachers, or teaching assistants.

With its residencies taking place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley's program draws energy from one of the literary capitals of the United States. Many of our core and visiting faculty have for years thrived in this epicenter of writing and publishing. Their experiences make them uniquely astute advisors for student writers, who will need to understand the complexities and opportunities of contemporary literary culture.