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UNH's MFA Program One of Top 50 Ranked in the Nation

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
November 11, 2009

The Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at UNH has been ranked one of the top 50 programs in the nation by Poets and Writers, with the university’s creative nonfiction program highlighted as the seventh best in the nation.

“Poets and Writers is a prestigious publication in the field of creative writing. We are thrilled that they conducted this survey and that UNH has ranked so well. Our MFA program is only in its third year, but it was anchored on the strengths of our MA in creative writing program, which we offered for decades. Thus we had and have a cadre of accomplished writers who, importantly, are equally committed to the teaching of writing,” said Ken Fuld, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

UNH’s overall program was ranked 42 in the nation. Within the MFA program, the creative nonfiction program was ranked seventh in the nation, the poetry program was ranked 39th, and the fiction program was ranked 40th. There are 140 full-residency MFA programs in the United States, according to Poets and Writers, which is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers.

“Our creative writing students are particularly engaged, most notably through their frequent public readings and their production of our online literary journal. The combination of a new and challenging MFA program, strong faculty, and energetic students is a winning one, and I think prospective students are recognizing this,” Fuld said.

Launched three years ago, UNH’s program offers concentrations in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The program emphasizes craft, learned in small workshops, and seeks students who plan to become professional writers after taking their degrees.

Sue Hertz, director of the MFA in Writing program, said the ranking of UNH’s creating nonfiction program, in particular, as seventh in the nation is due, in part, to the program’s embrace of all kinds of nonfiction writing, from personal essay to travel writing to literary journalism.

“The program is small so students receive an enormous amount of individual attention, both from their teachers and each other. There’s a nice sense of community since we emphasize working together rather than competing against each other. The bottom line is that the faculty members want their students to succeed, to publish and enjoy a readership, and the students know that,” Hertz said.

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