"Thirty-Three Years of Creative Writing at Notre Dame" | AWP highlights Notre Dame's Creative Writing Program in "Creative Writing Currently" Series

Author: Paul Cunningham

Creative Writing Currently

"Current students and alumni of Notre Dame's MFA in Creative Writing (running strong for thirty-three years!) have received impressive accolades and awards for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction works. Read more about the program's most recent endowment and new reading series in the Writer's Notebook, and learn what it means to transmute, experiment, and explore as a writer."


— Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)

Creative Writing Program Manager Paul Cunningham recently contributed an essay about the history (and the future) of Notre Dame's Creative Writing Program to AWP's "Creative Writing Currently," a monthly series featured in The Writer's Notebook.  Ranging from articles on publishing and teaching to career advice and current affairs, The Writer's Note book has also recently highlighted the MFA programs of Antioch University, Diné College, and Belmont University.

Cunningham begins with William O'Rourke's 1983 vision for a "Master of Fine Arts in Writing program" and continues by moving into the present, noting the many recent accomplishments of the Creative Writing Program's award-winning faculty, alumni, and recent graduates:

"Notre Dame is a very exciting place to be a writer right now. Thanks to a generous $1.5 million endowment, 2023 will mark the exciting launch of the John and Patrice Kelly Reading Series, with Sofia Samatar as the inaugural reader. MFA alumni Joseph Earl Thomas (Sink: A Memoir) and Nazli Koca (The Applicant) both have debut books recently reviewed in The New York Times. Ae Hee Lee won the 2022 Dorset Prize for her book Asterism and was named one of twelve finalists for 2022 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Gwendolyn Oxenham, now a regular contributor to ESPN and Sports Illustrated, will be the head of creative content for the broadcasting company producing the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Tess Gunty, whose undergraduate thesis was advised by [Joyelle] McSweeney, won the 2022 National Book Award for her debut novel The Rabbit Hutch."