New School Creative Writing Program alumni are steadily advancing through our complex, volatile, and exciting new literary world.

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In honor of The New School’s Centennial, we’ve compiled a list of 100 books by MFA Creative Writing alumni. Robert Polito, professor of writing and the founding director of the MFA Creative Writing Program, shared the following reflection on the program and its history.

My gratitude to Justin Sherwood–Senior Director, Communications and Strategic Initiatives at The New School and MFA Creative Writing alumnus–for convening this luminous roster of “100 Books by Creative Writing Alumni” for The New School Centennial. All of us in the Creative Writing Program could obsess over our own personal, even idiosyncratic recapitulations of exemplary MFA alumni publications, as Justin’s erudite survey inevitably designates just a scintillating fraction of the noteworthy poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and writing for children and young adults created by our graduates. …


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“Nothing says America louder than a gun.” The new anthology Lock & Load: Armed Fiction, published by the University of New Mexico Press and co-edited by Deirdra McAfee (MFA ’04), examines the use of guns in literary fiction, as objects and metaphors. It is the only such collection edited by women; women also wrote more than half the book’s “gun stories.”

In taking no “political stance,” the editors conceived the book as a way to spark reasonable conversation on a subject so politicized that it’s become almost impossible to discuss. Lock & Load: Armed Fiction brings readers stories by such distinguished American writers as Annie Proulx, John Edgar Wideman, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Pinckney Benedict, Rick DeMarinis, and Jim Tomlinson, as well as fresh, new stories by writers from across the country, chosen after a nationwide call. …


Poems and Photography | Part 1

Poet Helene Swarts, alumna of the Continuing Education program at The New School and attendee of Pearl London’s famous seminar “Meeting Poets and Poetry” (1970–1998), recently partnered with Elizabeth Budington, a collector and printer of turn of the century glass plate negatives, pairing poems with turn of the century photography. Their work was recently shown at Casco Bay Artisans gallery in Portland, Maine. Pearl London would likely have been delighted to see her student still immersed in the process of making poems and experimenting with collaborative possibilities in poetry and visual art.

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Creative Writing Program faculty member Laura Cronk interviewed Helene about her time in Pearl London’s class at The New School for the Creative Writing Blog. To read the full interview titled “Meeting Poets and Poetry: Helene Swarts and Pearl London,” please click here.

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