EKU Launches MFA Degree Program in Creative Writing
Students in Eastern’s newly approved low-residency Master of Fine Arts degree program in Creative Writing will be mentored by a nationally acclaimed Appalachian author, the leading “Affrilachian” poet, and several other award-winning writers and poets.
EKU’s program, which will be launched in June 2006, is unique for several reasons, according to Dr. Charlie Sweet, chair of the University’s Department of English and Theatre:
- Students will be on campus for only 10 days any semester, with the remaining weeks spent in direct contact with a chosen mentor. During the residency, the mentor and the student will agree on a program of studies, which involves reading criticism and creative works as well as writing critically and creatively. “The student writes and the mentor critiques so that after 16 weeks a written project is complete,” Sweet said.
- The program’s coordinator is Laurel County native and EKU graduate Silas House, author of “Clay’s Quilt,” “A Parchment of Leaves” and “The Coal Tattoo.” Faculty include leading “Affrilachian” poet Frank X Walker, prize-winning mystery writers Dr. Hal Blythe and Dr. Charlie Sweet, and award-winning poets Dr. Christine Delea and Dr. Young Smith. Also, several nationally known outside mentors will work in the program.
- In addition to the program’s Appalachian flavor, students can be instructed in popular and mainstream writing. According to Sweet, most creative writing programs frown on popular genres, such as mystery, science fiction, horror, fantasy and romance.
“We think we have arguably the best creative writing program not just in the state, but in the region,” Sweet said. “With such a well known and well published faculty, Eastern is well positioned for its mission of earning national recognition.”
Sweet added that the program “will appeal to anyone who wishes to write, anyone who wishes to teach writing on the college level, and even primary and secondary teachers who wish to develop a writing proficiency in order to strengthen their students’ writing portfolios. Students can participate in the program while maintaining their full-time employment away from campus. Students on campus will benefit because the program will bring prominent writers to campus and because the instructors teach undergraduate as well as graduate courses. The community benefits by having programs and readings from nationally known figures.”