The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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  • The Program

    The MFA for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a three-year program dedicated to writing workshops and the completion of a book-length manuscript in prose or poetry. Among the oldest and most respected MFA programs in the country, our acclaimed and aesthetically diverse faculty guide students to find their full range of artistic and literary potential.

  • We're Doomed. Now What?

    We live in a time of alarming and bewildering change—the breakup of the post-1945 global order, a multispecies mass extinction, and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it. Not one of us is innocent, not one of us is safe. Now what? Join Roy Scranton for an exploration of how to make sense of the planetary catastrophe we're currently living through, and what real hope for a human future might look like.

    Find the full schedule for Philip Glass at UMass here.

News

Madeline ffitch reads from new novel

September 05, 2019

MFA alumna Madeline ffitch will read from her new novel, Stay and Fight, at Amherst Books on Friday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. Stay and Fight, one of the New York Times' most anticipated books of...

André Alexis among 12 writers longlisted for Scotiabank Giller Prize

September 04, 2019

MFA Visiting Faculty 2019-20 André Alexis' Days by Moonlight is among the 12 books longlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize, an annual $100,000 award that recognizes the best in Canadian...

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Events

Sep
20

We're Doomed. Now What?

John W. Olver Design Building
7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Sep
22

Art in the Anthropocene

Old Chapel
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Sep
26

Visiting Writers Series Hosts André Alexis and Mona Awad for a Reading and Book Signing

Great Hall, Old Chapel, 144 Hicks Way University of Massachusetts
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Oct
17

Visiting Writers Series Hosts Kamila Shamsie for a Reading and Book Signing

Great Hall, Old Chapel, 144 Hicks Way, University of Massachusetts
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

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David Berman, 1967–2019

The poet, translator, and editor Brian Henry (MFA '97) reminded me of this 2012 conversation between David Berman (MFA '95) and James Tate; it's quintessentially both of them. David Berman passed away August 2019; James Tate passed away in July four years before. This conversation was originally published by the Academy of American Poets. David Berman's is a one-of-a-kind voice in music and in poems; his book, Actual Air, published in 1999 by Open City Books, has been and is avidly and faithfully read and loved. In 2009 Drag City published The Portable February, Berman's book of pictures and words. Grove press has just released a new edition of Actual Air.  So often someone who otherwise claims disinterest in poetry tells me David's poems took hold of them, and have held on ever since. If we're lucky we'll see a posthumous book before too long. David's poems name what's completely real in their unutterable, mysterious, paradoxical ways; his work never forgets the circumstances in which we're born, live and die, elemental, stark and singular. –Dara Wier