My experience of writers is that two of them rarely take the same path to finding their voices and developing their individual styles. By design then, the Manhattanville MFA Program gives our students wide latitude, gives them the freedom to grow as writers and to tell their stories on their own terms.
If you want to be a fiction writer, you can come here, immerse yourself in fiction workshops and craft classes, and jumpstart that novel of yours. But if you write in multiple genres, we’ll never force you to declare a concentration—you can take a mix of, say, poetry and creative nonfiction workshops and end up writing a hybrid memoir-in-verse.
You can also move through the program at your own pace. You can have your MFA in hand after two intensive years or you can take three years while gaining classroom experience in our Teaching Pathway program or you can take a class or two a semester, keep your day job, and finish in four or five years. At the M’ville MFA Program, the door is open to possibilities.
Beyond our flexible curriculum, a highlight of the program is our vibrant community. We have our own writing cottage, Barat House, tucked away on Manhattanville’s picturesque campus. Barat House is our nerve center, where we gather for classes, BBQs, our annual Fall Poetry Festival, Saturday mini-workshops that supplement our curriculum, editorial meetings for our literary journal Inkwell, or just to catch up with peers in the lounge. For larger events, like a reading from a visiting writer or Summer Writers’ Week, we head up the hill to the magnificent pink marble interior of Reid Castle. Scribbling away at your desk is much less lonely when you have access to a like-minded community of writers.
We also aren’t restricted to the boundaries of campus. The Metro-North train line gives us quick access to New York, that crown jewel of the literary and publishing world, that global cultural capital. Closer to home, the Lower Hudson Valley has long been a haven for artists and writers. The area currently sports a burgeoning literary scene, and you’ll found our students and faculty in the thick of events at local writers’ centers, independent book stores, libraries, and museums.
We’re an engaged and engaging community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, who have banded together over a shared love of literature and a desire to explore our talents as writers. Come tell your story with us!
Iain Haley Pollock Director, MFA Program Manhattanville College