Five graduate students in MSUM’s  Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program read their creative work Thursday, March 31 to attendees of the 42nd annual UND Writer’s Conference in Grand Forks, N.D.

MFA program candidates Ryan Christiansen, Renee LaMie, Ellie Musselman, Dan Nygard, and Andrew Olson read from their work at the conference, which was held March 29 through April 2 at the university. LaMie, Musselman, Nygard, and Olson are defending their master’s theses this spring.

In pursuit of the MFA in creative writing, graduate students enroll in writing workshops, craft courses, and literature classes to examine a broad range of writing models and to experiment with a variety of strategies and forms. This
guided development leads the students to develop carefully conceived, book-length manuscripts. Students in the program are expected to present a significant portion of their work during public readings.

For more than 40 years, the UND Writer’s Conference has drawn the world’s greatest literary artists to the Red River Valley, including Allen Ginsberg, Truman Capote, Edward Albee,  Louise Erdrich, Thomas McGrath, Sherman Alexie,
Jon Hassler, Alice Walker, and Sir Salman Rushdie. This year’s event featured writer and novelist Jamaica Kincaid. This conference revolved around the theme “(Inter)national Relations.” Featured artists included Carl Phillips, Amoussa Koriko, Susan Deer Cloud, Matt Sienkiewicz, Maxine Hong Kingston, Loida Maritza Pérez, Jim Castellanos, Russell Scott Valentino, and Sean Mclain Brown.