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Welcome Note|MFA Program Director

The University of Wyoming MFA is an intimately-sized, flexible, and innovative program. We'll ask you what you want to do while you're here, no matter how unusual—creative research in Iceland or Uzbekistan, a dual degree in Environment and Natural Resources or Geology—and we'll do our best to make it happen (those are real and recent examples).  We'll further your development as a writer through nurture and provocation; we’ll hope that you try out the rangy and unusual cross-genre and interdisciplinary offerings that our program provides.  We appreciate stamina and seriousness. We want our writers to ask "why" and "what for" as well as "how."  We also encourage a genuine sense of community here. We don't put students in competition for funding or approval. We fund everyone equally, and as generously as we can.  When we offer a spot in the program to an applicant, it's because we believe in your promise and because we're excited to commit to your work and to spend time in your company. We recruit a fantastic and diverse group of students each year from across the country (and diversity in all of its meanings matters to us). Because we're a young program, we've graduated only a few classes so far, but our students are already publishing widely (see our web newsletters, student blog, and alumni news page for recent examples).

We encourage our students to think broadly about life after the MFA degree. Our publication workshops put you into conversation with a variety of editors, agents, and publishers. Our Eminent Writer in Residence program and our Visiting Writers Series put you in close contact with a brilliant array of contemporary writers, both emerging and established, who embody a wide range of visions for how to make a writing life. For students who wish to pursue university teaching careers, we offer strong pedagogical training and a solid record of seeing interested graduates move on to creative writing PhD programs. But we're candid about the fact that the great majority of MFA graduates across the country won't go on to tenure-track college teaching. And we’re also serious about also bringing writers into our program who have no plans to stay within the academy afterwards.  What we want to do, first and foremost, is help you to find and to realize your deepest intent as a writer.

Laramie is a town that surprises many of our applicants, who sometimes worry that they're moving to a remote place with a conservative culture. But the town is comfortable and intriguing, with vegan restaurants and yoga studios steps away from the local cowboy bars; and our program is committed to creating opportunities and a sense of welcome for students who might otherwise not call Laramie home. The gorgeously austere, light-struck landscape is an extraordinary place in which to write. The nearby mountains and national forests are perfect places for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, and restful solitude.

Our website and MFA graduate handbook are designed to help answer such questions as how to apply to the program and how to fulfill the requirements of the program once you're here.  But a handbook can't tell you all that much about the daily life of a program, which we think is the most rewarding aspect of our MFA. If you have a question the handbook and website do not answer, please contact us.

Beth Loffreda

MFA Program Director

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