Director's Message

Fall 2013

Welcome --

The Creative Writing Program, housed within our Department of English, offers two degrees in creative writing: A Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration on Creative Writing, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The undergraduate program prepares liberal arts students for a wide range of careers through the practice of reading, writing and critiquing poetry, fiction and autobiography. The MFA in Creative Writing develops the potential of emerging writers who will contribute to the country's literary production and to defining the ever-shifting landscape of contemporary literature.

     

Since the inception of our program in 1992, our alumni have published over forty books of poetry, novels and short story collections. This year we celebrate Jason McCall's (M.F.A., 2009) Dear Hero (Marsh Hawk Press, 2013), winner of the 2012 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize; The War on Pants (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013) by Kristine Snodgrass (M.F.A., 2003); and Neil de la Flor's (M.F.A., 2005) An Elephant's Memory of Blizzards (Marsh Hawk Press, 2013). Unbreakable: My Story, My Way (Atria Books, 2013), the story of Mexican singer Jenni Rivera ghostwritten by UM alumni Marissa Mateo (M.F.A., 2009) made the New York Times' Best Seller list this past summer. In 2014, look for undergraduate alumna Natalia Sylvester's novel Chasing the Sun (New Harvest, Amazon Publishing, 2014), the story of a kidnapping in Peru and the toll it takes on what was a happy marriage.

Alumni Paula Kolek (M.F.A., 2010) and Neil de la Flor, recently awarded the James L. Knight Foundation Knight Arts Challenge Grant, are curating Reading Queer, a series seeking "to establish Miami as a center for queer literature through a literary salon series, creative writing workshops led by nationally and locally recognized queer writers, public readings during a one week festival and an online literary journal."

The Ibis Reading Series, our formal reading series, features nationally and internationally recognized poets and writers. This year's artists include Oliver de la Paz, Patricia Engel, Edwidge Danticat, and University of Miami MFA alumnae and Knight Foundation Grant winner, Neil de la Flor. In addition to our guest poets and writers, we showcase and welcome two new faculty—Assistant Professor in Poetry, Jaswinder Bolina, and Distinguished Visiting Writer, R. Zamora Linmark.

MANGROVE, our undergraduate literary journal, edited and produced by our creative writing undergraduates, MFA's candidates, and managing editor, alumnae Zachary Hickman (M.F.A., 2003) and faculty advisor KC Culver, continues to feature national undergraduate creative writing students from all over the United States. Undergraduate poets and writers from 45 universities around the country submitted their work to our most recent issue. In addition to publishing their online and print journal, this year MANGROVE is hosting USpeak, the Creative Writing Program's open mic series, as well as a new series of writing salons co-sponsored by the Writing Center.

The Ibis Literary Reading Series and USpeak Series are made possible through the sponsorship of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, the Creative Writing Program, the Writing Center, and our community partners at Books & Books. and through the generous donation of a recent undergraduate alumni's family. We are grateful for the support of many.

While writing is ultimately a solitary practice, creating a writing community that can support and challenge emerging writers is an important component to both our MFA and undergraduate creative writing programs. I invite you to explore the many facets of our program through this website. Bookmark us and we'll keep you posted on our events. If you have any questions or need of further information, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

M. Evelina Galang
Associate Professor
Creative Writing Director