Upon successful completion of the oral defense of their thesis, MFA candidates are required to present a public recital of their work. Please join us in celebrating spring semester 2015 MFA graduates Marcus Bjornson (South Dakota), Angela Jones (Iowa), Samantha Jones (Minnesota), and Nayt Rundquist (Indiana), when they read from their work on Thursday, May 14, 7:00-9:00 p.m., in the Library Porch. All four graduates also earned a Certificate in Publishing while completing their degrees. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.MFA-Public-Readings-Flyer_2015

The MFA is a terminal degree—the highest degree in its field—allowing students to study the art and craft of writing, while preparing them for careers in teaching and writing-related professions. Since offering its first classes in fall 1995, the MFA in Creative Writing has graduated 120 students.

Our students have come from California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, New Mexico, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, as well as from Canada and Jamaica.

Every institution of higher learning—including public, private, and proprietary institutions—within a 75 mile radius of MSUM has hired an MFA grad as a professor or administrator. Graduates from the MFA program have gone on to: earn M.A. and PhD degrees; teach writing and literature and hold administrative positions in high schools, community colleges, technical colleges, and universities; work as writers and editors of magazines, newspapers, and publishing companies; manage web content and communications strategies for businesses and universities; drive taxis; direct Alumni Affairs for Teach for America; work in marketing, advertising and public relations positions for private, public, and nonprofit agencies; direct study abroad programs; develop successful freelance writing businesses; work as marketing directors for banks; and serve as emergency room anesthesiology nurses.

This has been a rather productive year for MFA graduates. Bayard Godsave’s (MFA 2001) novel, “Torture Tree,” was published by Queen’s Ferry Press; Karen Joan Kohoutek’s (MFA 2002) collection of poems, “Votives: Poems and Oracle,” was published by Skull and Book Press; “Goodbye Mike, Hello Judge: My Journey for Justice,” Federal Judge Myron Bright’s memoir, was published by the North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies Press and edited by Bob Jansen (MFA 2002); K.C. Hanson’s (MFA 2005) collection of poems “The Lazarus Project,” was published by North Star Press; Greg Boose’s (MFA 2006) novel, “The Red Bishop,” was released by Full Fathom Five Digital; and Ryan Christiansen’s (MFA 2012) novel, “Boy Wanted,” has been accepted for publication by the North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies Press.

In 2013, The MFA in Creative Writing Program was among the academic programs designated by MSUM to be phased out in order to avoid a projected $8 million deficit in 2016 and align resources with the University’s new strategic plan.