Presented by Sarah Harris Wallman, Krysia Jopek, and Michael White
Blodgett House, Bard College at Simon’s Rock , 7-9 p.m.
The faculty of the “no residency” MFA program at Albertus Magnus College, in New Haven, Connecticut, will host a panel discussion on the usefulness of the MFA degree. What are the real advantages of getting an MFA? What kinds of MFAs are there (this is a degree that has gone from 15 programs in 1975 to 199 currently listed by Poets and Writers magazine), and what are their graduates doing? While we run a very low residency program, our faculty have attended two- or three-year residential programs (or, in one case, no MFA at all). This is an exciting degree that opens up possibilities but should not be entered into lightly: we’d like to give honest answers about the benefits and pitfalls of an advanced degree in writing.
Sarah Harris Wallman is a fiction writer with degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh (MFA). Her work has been produced off-off-Broadway, nominated for Best American New Voices, and published in a number of literary journals, including Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and P.M.S—poemmemmoirstory.
Krysia Jopek, author of Maps and Shadows, 2011 winner of a Silver Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction, has published poetry in literary journals and book reviews of poetry or The American Book Review and The Wallace Stevens Journal. She holds three degrees, a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and a M.Phil. in English from CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently completing an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at Albertus Magnus. She taught at City College in NewYork for ten years and is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Westfield StateUniversity.
Michael White is the author of six novels: Soul Catcher, which was a Booksense and Historical Novels Review selection, as well as a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award, A Brother’s Blood, which was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers nominee; The Blind Side of the Heart, an Alternate Book-of-the-Month Club selection; A Dream of Wolves, which received starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly; and The Garden of Martyrs, also a Connecticut Book Award finalist and currently being made into an opera. His latest novel (William Morrow, 2010), Beautiful Assassin, won the 2011 Connecticut Book Award for Fiction. A collection of his short stories, Marked Men, was published by the University of Missouri Press. He has also published over 50 short stories in national magazines and journals, and has won the Advocate Newspapers Fiction Award. He was the founding editor of the yearly fiction anthology American Fiction as well as the magazine Dogwood. He is the founder and director of Fairfield University’s low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program (www.fairfield.edu/mfa).