It takes a great deal of history,” wrote Henry James, “to produce a little literature.” From Anne Bradstreet to Phillis Wheatley to Poe to Longfellow—and through James himself to Lowell and Bishop—Boston has been either a starting point or a residence for writers whose work makes up the heart of American literature. Today, Robert Pinsky, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, Sue Miller, Ha Jin, Susannah Kaysen, Gish Jen, James Carroll, Dennis Lehane, and many other visitors and residents share in creating a vibrant literary community in and around the city. Small presses, magazines, myriad bookstores, readings, and other literary events thrive here, as do students in one of the largest academic communities in the country.
The UMass Boston Creative Writing MFA Program began in Fall 2007 with 6 fiction writers and 5 poets. Today we can boast that our first MFA cohort graduated in June 2010 and that the MFA program has grown to include more than 30 students from locations all across the globe! Fall 2012 begins our sixth year and already the Creative Writing MFA Program has established itself as part of Boston's ongoing literary history.
Our MFA students are very active in the literary community in and around Boston. Current and past projects include:
- organizing a monthly reading series at Brookline Booksmith
- teaching creative writing to public school students at Boston Public Library branches in Allston and Roxbury
- managing the Breakwater Review, an online literary journal
- organizing and managing the Annual Grace Paley Memorial Prize reading
- attending the annual AWP (Association of Writers &Writing Programs) Conference, most recently in Chicago and Denver.