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MFA in Creative Writing Genre Concentrations
How does a low residency MFA program work?
Meet Our Faculty
Each of our faculty members is an experienced writer and an incredible teacher of their art. Here are a few:
- MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts
Jessica has a BA in Social Welfare from Bloomsburg University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut picture book biography about Gloria Steinem, Gloria Takes a Stand, is due out in March 2019 with Bloomsbury, and her second biography, yet unannounced, in 2020, also with Bloomsbury. Her middle grade duology, The Dare Sisters, will be out in 2020 and 2021 with Macmillan/Imprint. Jessica writes across all categories and has published creative nonfiction, short stories, and poetry in addition to her forthcoming children’s books.
In 2010, Jessica won second place in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award, and was chosen as one of Warren County New Jersey’s “Writers on the Rise” in 2010 and 2012. In 2017, she was the Writer in Residence at Weymouth Center of the Arts in Southern Pines, North Carolina. She has interned with a literary agency and literary magazine, and currently works as a developmental editor and writing coach for Wild River Publishing and Consulting. Prior to (mostly) full-time writing, Jessica has been a professional actress, literacy teacher, theatre reviewer, a stay-at-home mom, and rounding out her Jane-of-all-trades approach to life, a barista at a fabulous little coffee shop that has provided her a lifetime of fodder for stories.
- M.F.A., University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast
Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including: Incendiary Art; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Blood Dazzler, finalist for the National Book Award and one of NPR’s top five books of the year; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a collaboration with award-winning photographer Michael Abramson. She is almost the author of Africans in America, the companion book to the groundbreaking PBS series, the children book Janna and the Kings, the editor of the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir and co-editor of The Golden Shovel: Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House, and in Best American Poetry, Best American Essays, and Best American Mystery Stories.
Smith is a 2017 Civitella Ranieri fellow, a Neustadt Prize finalist, a 2012 fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Yadoo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and four-time champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is a professor at the City University of New York, a Cave Canem faculty member, and was the Writer-in-Residence at SNC for 2013-2014.
- BA in Creative Writing, University of California, San Diego
Joanna Cárdenas is an editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She acquires and edits picture books, chapter books, and middle grade (including graphic novels). Joanna has edited books by Julie Falatko, Tim Miller, Margaret Mincks, Mac Barnett, Greg Pizzoli, Celia C. Pérez, Christopher Weyant, Aaron Reynolds, and Pablo Cartaya, among others.
Joanna is also on the steering committee for Latinx in Publishing, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting and increasing the number of Latino/a/x in the publishing industry, as well as promoting literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people.
Honorary Creative Writing Faculty
Carolyn Forché: Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950, poet, teacher and activist Carolyn Forché has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history.
According to Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Times Book Review, Forché’s ability to wed the “political” with the “personal” places her in the company of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Philip Levine, and Denise Levertov.
We want artists who will write for the rest of their lives. If you are interested in adding your voice to this transformative conversation and intrigued by the possibility of working with teachers and peers who are passionate about the art they love, then please contact us — we look forward to meeting you.