Our seventh annual MFA Issue features a roundup of 104 full- and low-residency programs; plus profiles of National Book Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward and novelist Rick Bass; an extensive interview with Knopf editor Jordan Pavlin; articles on the art of reading poet Rosmarie Waldrop and the beauty of backstory; advice from agent Lucy Carson; and much more.
A vice president and executive editor at Knopf, Jordan Pavlin discusses her terror of launch meetings, the particular genius of Sonny Mehta, and her job as a writer’s ideal reader.
Where the Writing Will Take Her: A Profile of Jesmyn Ward
The responsibility that Jesmyn Ward feels toward the Southern town where she was born shapes not only her new memoir, Men We Reaped, but also where and how she lives her life.
Imagination Is Not a Straight Line: A Profile of Rick Bass
In his nonfiction Rick Bass writes with a destination, but In his fiction, including the new novel, All the Land to Hold Us, he throws away the map and heads off into the wilderness, deep in the Yaak Valley of Montana.
2014 MFA Index
A roundup of 78 leading full-residency programs, including a comparative look at funding, student-faculty ratio, job placement, and more; plus a roundup of 26 leading low-residency programs.
A Crapshoot You Can Bet On: The Psychology of Applying to MFA Programs
If you are applying to MFA programs this fall, what should you believe once e-mails and phone calls informing you of your fate start rolling in? Can the decision be dismissed as having nothing incontroverible to say about your promise as a writer,...
From Corporate to Creative: Leaving a Career to Pursue an MFA
A survey of writers, including the author herself, who left established careers to earn an MFA in creative writing.
Degrees of Value: What Happens After the MFA Program?
Contributing editor Michael Bourne reconnects with eight former classmates from the MFA program at San Francisco State University to see where the degree has taken them.
The Aha! Moment: Wendy Rawlings of the MFA program at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
In this continuing series, an MFA program director reveals which details and devices caught her eye in the personal statement of a recently admitted student.
A poet with two published books but no MFA, Leigh Stein has nevertheless benefited from the proliferation of creative writing programs.
News and Trends
Micropublishers secure their spot on the digital landscape by creating new apps that deliver carefully curated content to readers' mobile devices.
Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features Salmagundi, the Threepenny Review, Georgia Review, and Image.
Massive open online courses, which are offered for free online to anyone in the world, provide a new alternative to students looking for an education in the arts.
With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including David Vann's Goat Mountain and Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.
Ecological artist and sculptor Ana Flores connects communites to the land around them through a series of installations that combine poetry, visual art, and nature observation.
In an effort to preserve her grandmother's legacy, Brooklyn–based poet and visual artist Bianca Stone is working to turn the late Ruth Stone's Vermont house into a writers center and residency.
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features A Strange Object, which publishes works of fiction in both print and digital editions from its headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Visual artist Jonathan Allen and poet Anselm Berrigan team up to create LOADING, an exhibit in New York City that will be published in book form this fall by Brooklyn Arts Press.
Poet Robert Polito brings his years of experience in New York City's writing community to Chicago, where he succeeds John Barr as the president of the Poetry Foundation.
The Practical Writer
Lessons From the Hothouse: What Writers Can Learn from the History of Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A contributing editor of New York magazine whose new book, Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, was published in...
Make Your Mark: The Writer's Guide to Trademark
The author most recently of the memoir Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood, published in September by the University of Minnesota Press, Kate Hopper discusses the importance of trademarking one's work to keep it protected.
Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency discusses e-book publishing, when to send a sample to an agent, and more.
The Literary Life
Novelist Eleanor Henderson discusses the beauty and necessity of backstory in fiction, offering a counterpoint to a previously published article in which novelist Benjamin Percy warned writers about the dangers of backstory.
The Art of Reading Rosmarie Waldrop: Language in Motion
An experimental poet with more than twenty books of poetry to her name, Rosmarie Waldrop has always been interested in the way language works and in the lacunae within language where silence shows through.
Why We Write: A Topic Too Risky
Memoirist Tracy Strauss explains how writing honestly about trauma has allowed her to not only process her childhood sexual abuse, but to better understand life.
Where We Write: Detroit, Michigan
In the first of a new series about the places and communities that writers call home, poet francine j. harris wrestles with regionalism, her native Detroit, and the midwestern landscape of Michigan.