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  • Ocean Vuong Named 2019 MacArthur Fellow

    Our very own Ocean Vuong has been named one of 26 new fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur "genius" grant is awarded to artists, writers, scientists, designers, activists, and others—it honors "extraordinary originality" and comes with a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000, to be distributed over five years.

    Congratulations, Ocean!

  • Visiting Writers Series

    Kamila Shamsie (MFA '98) returns to UMass for the Visiting Writers Series on Thursday, October 17.

    This event is free and open to the public. RSVP here.

  • 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.

  • Apply Now

    The deadline to apply for Fall 2020 admission is December 15.

    Review our application requirements, and apply now.

News

Ocean Vuong named 2019 MacArthur Fellow

September 25, 2019

Faculty member Ocean Vuong has been named one of 26 new fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur "genius" grant is awarded to artists, writers, scientists,...

Ocean Vuong's novel longlisted for National Book Award and Kirkus Award

September 24, 2019

Ocean Vuong's novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, was named on the Longlist for the National Book Award and as a Finalist for the Kirkus Book Award.

More News »

Events

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

Nov
14

Visiting Writers Series Hosts Ocean Vuong Reading and Book Signing

Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 151 Presidents Drive Amherst 01003
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Dec
05

Visiting Writers Series Hosts Mary Ruefle Reading and Book Signing

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

More Events »
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