Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Master's Program in Writing Underlines Scholarship and Creativity

Master's program in writing Underlines scholarship and creativity

Students interested in pursuing a writing career must decide between a master of fine arts program, which traditionally focuses almost exclusively on the craft of writing, or—at the opposite end of the spectrum—a master’s degree in English, which doesn’t consider the creative writing process. 

Graduate students enrolled in GSAS’s master’s degree program in English with a Writing Concentration, however, get the best of both worlds: they get to pursue their writing ambitions within the context of literary scholarship. “It is a truism that doesn’t always translate into practice,” said Nicola Pitchford, Ph.D., chair of the English department. “The more you read, the better you write. And having that strong resource of graduate literary work along with creative writing keeps your options open professionally.”

Mary Bly, Ph.D., the director of the creative writing program, agrees. “It is a unique program,” said Bly, who is also a New York Times bestselling novelist, published under the name Eloisa James. “Our emphasis on creativity, as drawn from [literary] scholarship, really distinguishes us from other programs.”

After an intensive two year national search, the department recently appointed Heather Dubrow, Ph.D., to the newly endowed John Boyd Chair in Poetic Imagination. Formerly the Tighe Evans and the John Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Dubrow is the author of six scholarly books and two works of poetry.  “Heather is going to bring such tremendous energy to the creative writing program,” Pitchford said.

The department also added Sarah Gambito, M.F.A., the co founder and executive director of Kundiman, a New York based nonprofit that fosters Asian American poets, to its already impressive faculty. Gambito, who will take over the creative writing program at the end of the year, said the dual focus of the master’s degree program convinced her to accept the department’s offer.

“While other programs are more craft based, [Fordham’s] is very much rooted in that foundation. I appreciate the professional edge Fordham gives to its students.”

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