Letter from the Director
January, The University of Tampa MFA Program in Creative Writing will recognize
the 21 members of our first graduating class in a hooding ceremony to celebrate
their completion of the Master of Fine Arts degree.
Now in its
third academic year, our program consists of more than 80 apprentice writers working
in (and across) every major genre. Their experience within The University of
Tampa’s creative community is every bit as diverse as the city that hosts them;
our teaching faculty is international, multicultural and multilingual,
featuring writers from the United States, Canada, Croatia, Russia and the
created a program that combines two large ideas: that writing is at its heart a
recursive and frequently collaborative endeavor, reflected in the community
built within a small workshop, and that each student should have an ongoing
relationship with an individual mentor.
advised his daughter to try to absorb six good writers a year; Eudora Welty
once wrote that writing might come from a superior devotion to reading. We
agree. Each term, students join with acclaimed teachers of writing to construct
a personalized program that combines creative work with intense reading. Our
classes are small, typically capped at no more than five students per faculty
member. The 10-day residencies feature visiting writers, editors, agents,
screenwriters, songwriters, even the occasional visual artist; each visitor
gives a guest lecture or seminar on some aspect of the writer’s craft. Those
seminars are followed by a public reading or performance, called the Lectores public
reading series, which takes its name from the readers in early 19th-century
Our next residency, beginning Jan. 3, 2014, will include visits from acclaimed poets Mary Biddinger, Erika Meitner and Beth Ann Fennelly; novelists and singer-songwriters Wesley Stace and Joe Pernice; and
New York Times
bestselling author Tom Franklin, winner of the
Los Angeles Times
Book Award for his most recent novel,
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer Robert Olen Butler will read from his work and lead a master class where he will discuss his innovative approach to literary imagination. Another master class will feature acclaimed filmmaker Hal Hartley; we'll screen his most recent short film. Meanwhile, a full schedule of events is available on our website.
guests have included Michael Connelly, Arthur Flowers, Nick Flynn, Keith
Gessen, Amy Hill Hearth, National Book Award winner Denis Johnson, writer/actor/director
Miranda July, Francine Prose, George Saunders, Rebecca Wolff and many others.
program gives preference to no “school” or singular aesthetic; the approaches
our writers take in their work are as individual as the people themselves, all
of whom are joined together by their shared desire to write.
see a few highlights from our previous residencies in the videos
section of our website, complete with clips from readings by a few of our guest
of you interested, we’re currently reading applications on a rolling basis for
the Nov. 1 deadline. This website gives an overview of the two-year
program, as well as our policies and procedures. To learn more about the
program, check out our active UTMFACW Facebook group. You can also request more information or apply now.
please feel free to drop me a line at the email below. I’m happy to answer
any questions you might have.
Director, MFA in Creative Writing