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. Admission to both the undergraduate and graduate programs is dependent on writing samples and a statement of purpose. While 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 (www.as.miami.edu/english/creativewriting/alumni/publications).
Our MFA program grows and refines itself each year. This past summer, Sarah Stone was the first to receive an MFA Summer award, a fellowship that helped her research the voices of women from Appalachia. This year we also proudly kick off a third-year pilot program in support of our graduate MFA’s who are emerging writers and poets.
The University of Miami has designated this year Taking Flight – a yearlong celebration to the arts and humanities. In keeping with our ongoing commitment to the humanities and the arts, we’ve curated two fantastic reading series. The Ibis Reading Series, our formal reading series, features nationally and internationally recognized poets and writers Pablo Medina, Barbara Jane Reyes, Oscar Bermeo, Justin Torres and our very special guest, Visiting Associate Professor of English Valerie Martinez, former poet laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our open mic series, highlighting local poets expands its wings just a little wider this year. USpeak kicks off the school year with a trio of Old School Miami Poets, honoring the work of Adrian Castro, Carolina Hospital and Geoffrey Philp who will lead and inspire our community to stand up and live by their poetry. We also look forward to showcasing the work of P. Scott Cunningham, Quyrash Ali Lansana and Aimee Suzara.
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, American Studies, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Creative Writing Program, our community partners at Books & Books and through the generous donation of a recent undergraduate alumnae’s family. We are grateful for the support of many.
In addition to our formal reading series, we have two special reading events. In March, we take a retrospective look at poet Maureen Seaton’s work as we launch FIBONACCI BATMAN: NEW & SELECTED 1991-2011. In celebration, Maureen Seaton and her MFA alumni will offer an evening of poetry. And in April, the Creative Writing Program presents our second-year MFA candidates to the community in a graduation reading at the Clarke Recital Hall.
Our VONA-Voices at the University of Miami writing workshop for writers of color during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend last January was a great success. Writers and poets from all over Miami-Dade as well as from Canada, New York and California joined VONA faculty on campus for a weekend of writing, workshopping and one-on-one conferences. This year, we host the second annual VONA-Voices/Miami in the genres of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and residency with a VONA faculty member. Stay tuned for more details.
MANGROVE, our undergraduate literary journal edited and produced by our creative writing undergraduates, MFA’s candidates, and managing editor, alumnae Zachary Hickman and faculty advisor KC Culver, launched our first national issue featuring creative writing students from all over the United States. Undergraduate poets and writers from 45 universities around the country submitted their work to our inaugural issue.
As the school year begins, we welcome back our colleague A. Manette Ansay from her sabbatical abroad. Congratulations to Jane Alison who has received a Humanities Fellowship and will be steeped in her Ovid translations this fall.
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.
M. Evelina Galang
Creative Writing Director