Writing is a Necessity to Humankind: An Inside Look at Lesley University’s MFA program in Creative Writing

Interdisciplinary. Social justice and community minded. Personalized and strong student-mentor model. These are just some of the ways Lesley University’s MFA program in Creative Writing continues to be regarded, and remains one of the top 10 low-residency writing programs in the nation by Poets & Writers magazine. Established in 2003, the program is praised by students and alums for its strong student-mentor model and the support they receive from the award-winning and dedicated faculty.

In addition to the expected creative writing and critical work that takes place in most MFA programs, the Lesley MFA program holds a space for cross-genre and cross-literary imagining with its interdisciplinary courses. This component of the Lesley curriculum allows students to look at writing and themselves, and explore the literary world through a variety of lenses—ultimately in the interest of deepening their writing and in support of their development as critical thinkers and literary citizens.

“This distinctive Interdisciplinary element,” says program director Danielle Legros Georges, “has the practical function of offering students theory and real-world experience in the teaching of writing, work in publishing, and the space of exploration of projects with social justice imperatives.” She adds, “Toni Morrison has remarked that ‘A writer’s life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity.’ We believe this to be true.”

A Lesley alum and the program’s associate director, Janet Pocorobba, notes “the support of the Lesley MFA community has allowed me to stay connected with my peers and get involved more deeply in literary culture both here and abroad. I keep writing and publishing as a result. The Lesley MFA has made my literary life richer, quite a bit more fun, and more open.”

Lesley University was founded in 1909 by Edith Lesley as a school for teachers of immigrant children arriving to the United States from Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. Questions of social justice have always figured prominently at Lesley and continue to do so across the curriculum and in Lesley’s programs.

Now in 2020, the Lesley MFA Program continues to change and grow in response to national and global events and social and political developments. Its next residency, taking place in January 2021, will be held virtually and will contain several public events including Creative Writing: Traditions, Practices, and Myths, a panel and space for the discussion and re-examination of the current MFA landscape. Be sure to check its events page closer to January for information on this free event—as well as for current events open to the public.

For more information on the Lesley University MFA program in Creative Writing, contact:

Danielle Legros Georges, Program Director, dgeorges@lesley.edu

Alyssa Baker, Associate Director, Graduate Admissions, abaker18@lesley.edu

Also see:

Why We Write Podcast

Lesley MFA Writers Facebook


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