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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. The MFA for Poets and Writers champions the creation of new and important writing, and for over fifty years has been a place for writers to concentrate on their work and to write their books.

The program’s 60 hours of coursework is designed to allow students to focus on craft, immerse themselves in study of diverse literatures, and pursue individual concentrations. Students work closely with faculty members to develop book-length manuscripts, a factor that feeds directly to the outstanding publishing record of our graduates. Teaching opportunities in both creative writing and the teaching of composition give our students excellent preparation for the academic job market. Through the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts, students gain significant professional experience in arts administration, literary festivals, summer workshops, as well as with online and print journals, presses and publishers associated with the University, the region, and our alumni around the world.

Our graduates become professors, editors, journalists, lawyers, translators, filmmakers, musicians, actors, parents and arts administators. At UMass the three years devoted to the written arts provides a basis for lensing the world that is defined by engagement and empathy. Our graduates are members of society who value art in its broadest sense, and in its most personal. We invite you to become a member of this expanding, changing, always relevant community of writers and poets.  

Located within easy commutes to New York and Boston, our community is known for its vibrant art, music, and dance venues, used and new bookstores, working farms, and restaurants. We're fortunate to have neighbors and organizations devoted to supporting the literary arts. These include Amherst Books, Broadside Books, Emily Dickinson Museum, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Grey Matter Books, Jones Library, Montague Bookmill, Odyssey Bookshop, and the Poetry Center at Smith College.