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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Creative Writing M.F.A. Program

Statement of Support

We the faculty of Syracuse University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing stand with our students against the structural racism in this country that has led to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and the thousands who have preceded them in the last 400 years.

We stand in solidarity with our students, with the protests, and with the Black Lives Matter movement that demands accountability and resists the dehumanization inflicted on Black citizens at the hands of the police. We oppose an unjust system that threatens the lives of all people of color as well as LGBTQIA+ people. We also pledge to take a hard look at our own program, in order to root out any institutional racist policies and practices in our classroom communities, and to better serve all our students in their endeavors as writers.

We say all these things, and yet we know that we haven’t done enough—that we’ve been too passive, both now and during the #NotAgainSU movement. To fight white supremacy, we must educate ourselves, hire and retain new faculty of color, continue to recruit a diverse student body, and work to make things better rather than explain why they’re not. We’re here to listen to our students’ concerns, to bear witness, and to do the work necessary to build a community that is safe and welcoming to all students and faculty, and especially those of color and LGBTQIA+. We pledge to follow statements of conviction with commitment to action.

Statement of Solidarity from the Syracuse University Creative Writing Program

We, the faculty and students, continue to condemn the acts of racism and anti-Semitism that have roiled our campus for the past two weeks. We also believe that social justice protests should be encouraged and supported. We stand with the students of #NotAgainSU and support their demands. The Syracuse creative writing program affirms its own dedication to protecting vulnerable students in our program and campus wide. We urge the administration to do whatever is necessary to ensure the on-going safety and inclusion of all the students and faculty. Going forward, we pledge to support diversity through anti-racist and anti-oppressive action at all levels of university life.

Three-Year M.F.A. in Creative Writing

The M.F.A. program in creative writing is committed to creating a supportive environment for its students. As a program that aims to nurture new voices, we particularly want to welcome writers from underrepresented communities. We encourage people of color to apply. We believe a program is at its best when it is comprised of strong writers from a full spectrum of backgrounds and experiences.

POC-identified students can join a POC student group that is responsible for annually nominating a candidate to represent diversity and general student concerns on the creative writing committee.

Our program also aims to be a comfortable and supportive environment for LGBTQ students, international students, veterans, first-generation college students, disabled students, and for everyone who chooses to join us.

Students are presented with opportunities to teach in the Writing Program (a separate academic unit, specializing in composition) and in the Living Writers course, featuring prominent guest writers from the Raymond Carver Reading Series. Also, students can gain valuable editing and publishing experience through participation in Salt Hill, an award-winning campus literary magazine. During its nearly 50-year history, the creative writing program has produced an outstanding array of writers whose work has been published by major presses and magazines and won prestigious awards. Distinguished alumni include Tom Perrotta, Jay McInerney, Larry Levis, and Claire Messud. Recent graduates are M.T. Anderson G‘98, Rebecca Curtis G’01, Phil LaMarche G’03 and Adam Levin G’ 04.

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M.F.A. in Creative Writing

The three-year M.F.A. program in Creative Writing gives promising fiction writers and poets an opportunity to practice their art with dedicated fellow writers.