»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Low-Residency MFA Comes to China

On January 15, City University of Hong Kong, an English-language school with seventeen thousand students and a campus notable for its urban, contemporary architecture, will begin accepting applications for a new low-residency MFA program in creative writing. Up to thirty students will be admitted and spend two summers and three long weekends on the Hong Kong campus studying poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in English over the course of two to four years. While the program will have a focus on Asian writing, it is open to writers from anywhere in the world.

The program's first writer-in-residence, Xu Xi, a native of Hong Kong who has written seven books of fiction and creative nonfiction and is the current faculty chair in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, thinks the low-residency program will appeal primarily to English-speaking applicants from China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and perhaps India. "The English language is actually owned by a lot of different people," says Xu in describing the rationale behind the program, the first of its kind in Asia. "I'm writing a form of Chinese English, a form of Asian English. The Philippines have their form of English; the Indians have their form of English."

Xu says she wouldn't be surprised if the program drew interested writers from the Chinese diaspora in North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom as well. She also points out that there are many Western writers who spend considerable time in Asia.

Joining her on the faculty of the new program are poets Tina Chang, who teaches at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and Hunter College in New York City, Marilyn Chin, a professor at San Diego State University's MFA program, and Ravi Shankar, founding editor of the literary journal Drunken Boat; fiction writers Madeleine Thien, Sharmistha Mohanty, and Jess Row; and creative nonfiction writer Robin Hemley, director of the nonfiction program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, among others. At the first summer residency, novelist Timothy Mo will be on hand as visiting writer.

Kingsley Bolton, the chair of the university's English department, says the new program is part of an effort to raise the profile of the school's arts programs. "In the next few years, we are aiming to make the English department here a leading center for creative writing, drama, and cultural studies, not only for Hong Kong but also for the whole of the Asian region," he wrote in an e-mail.

The top criterion for admission to the low-residency program is the quality of a writing sample, which consists of ten pages of poetry or twenty-five pages of fiction or creative nonfiction, along with a personal essay on the candidate's creative philosophy and a critical essay on some aspect of writing craft; two letters of recommendation are also required. Tuition is approximately $18,465, but Xu says they hope to make some scholarships available.

The deadline for applications is in April. For more information, visit the Web site at www.english.cityu.edu.hk/mfa.

Stephen Morison Jr. is a contributing editor of Poets & Writers Magazine. He lives in Beijing.

Reader Comments

close
Article Permissions
Low-Residency MFA Comes to China (January/February 2010)
http://www.pw.org/content/lowresidency_mfa_comes_china

In the details box below, please include information about the reprint permissions you'd like granted.

Thank you for your permissions request. We do our best to respond immediately, but it may take up to three business days.

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
Poetry
Reading/Panel/Performance
Thankful Baptist Church
October 25, 2014 (All day)
Poetry
Reading/Panel/Performance
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
October 25, 2014 - 9:00am
Poetry
Reading
Gibson’s Bookstore
October 25, 2014 - 11:00am
Poetry
Workshop
San Diego Writer's Ink
October 25, 2014 - 12:30pm
Creative Nonfiction
Panel
First Church Chapel
October 25, 2014 - 1:00pm
Conferences & Residencies
Residency
West Cork, Ireland
Residency
Riga, Latvia
Conference
Charlotte, North Carolina
Writing Contests
Provincetown OuterMost Community Radio
University of Evansville
American Library Association
Magazine Articles

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.

 

by Staff

Politics & Prose replaces Barnes & Noble as official National Book Festival bookseller; new Berryman volume and reissues released; Carlos Lozada named nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post; and other news.

Directory of Writers
Poet
Baltimore, MD
Poet
Poet, Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer
CHATTANOOGA, TN

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved