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Beth Loffreda likes to say that students are drawn to the University of Wyoming's MFA Program in Creative Writing by the opportunity to immerse themselves deeply into writing and discover who they might become as writers.
Loffreda, the program's director, adds that the MFA Program in Creative Writing sets itself apart with its innovative design, flexible curriculum, opportunities for interdisciplinary study and the Eminent Writers in Residence program, which brings distinguished authors to campus to work closely with students.
All those qualities have brought national attention to UW's six-year-old program.
The MFA Program in Creative Writing recently was named one of the top 50 programs (number 43 overall) in the nation and also a top 25 program (number 22) in funding. The program rankings, published annually by Poets & Writers magazine, are widely viewed by universities, their faculty members and prospective students nationwide.
The list, compiled by the magazine's writer Seth Abramson, is based upon data including size, duration, teaching load, cost of living and curriculum focus.
"Few programs have been as transparent and generous in their outreach to prospective students as the University of Wyoming's MFA program," Abramson says. "Applicants sense, with good reason, that the faculty and administrators at the University of Wyoming are deeply committed to supporting their incoming cohort of poets, novelists, and nonfiction writers, both financially and through the program's welcoming, vibrant artist community."
Abramson adds that UW's MFA Program is no secret among students seeking a quality writing experience.
"The program's placement in the top 50 is no surprise to those who have been following its recent efforts to provide the sort of services for students, including the critical component of full funding for all, that have become the hallmark of a top graduate creative writing program," he says.
Abramson says that UW's program attracts a diverse student body from across the country.
"It can be difficult for a young MFA program to get noticed by applicants, because there are nearly 200 such programs nationally," he says. "But in the past year Wyoming appears to have cemented its position as one of the top new MFA programs in the country."
Perhaps most significant is the public recognition of the creative community fostered at UW, Loffreda says. She adds that the national attention "helps to put Wyoming on the map as an exciting and significant place for the arts."
"I really do feel lucky when I look at the writers we are attracting to our program. We have some fine home-grown Wyoming students in the program, as well as vividly talented writers from all across the nation. And they are wonderfully diverse in their backgrounds," she says. "I have a great job -- mainly what I do is run as fast as I can to keep up with the excitement and commitment of our students and faculty."
For more information about the program, visit the MFA Web site at www.uwyo.edu/creativewriting or e-mail Loffreda at firstname.lastname@example.org.