About a week ago we featured an article from the MFAs about what makes the Arkansas Writers Program great. This week take a look at what some of the professors had to say about the program.

“The Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop is a special program, small, intensely attentive to the needs of our students while they’re here and after they graduate.” -Dr. Stephanie Vanderslice, Program Director

“One strength has to be that our program is housed in an independent writing department placed within a college of fine arts. This is a rare arrangement. But it reaffirms, even codifies that creative writing is a fine arts activity no less than painting or sculpture or music or theater or film or dance.

Generally, our discipline is subsumed as a tangential discipline to literature because creative writing is usually stuck within an English Department — probably in an unfurnished room a dark basement — deliberately isolated to prevent the more “rigorous” scholarship of literature from catching a head cold. I have always found this customary arrangement to be ironic. There’s no which-came-first chicken-or-egg question here. Without creative writing, English would not have a discipline at all.

However, our non-traditional setup means we can have a true studio program — and not one that an amalgamation of workshops mixed with studying eat-your-academic-peas items like Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” or Henry Fielding’s “Shamela” — admittedly intellectual curiosities but a feels-like-busywork distraction when compared to drafting one’s own literary work.

Didn’t you come here because you wanted to be a writer — because you wanted to create literary art? Move in. You’ll feel right at home.”-Professor Terry Wright

“I’d say that the Arkansas Writers Workshop is one of the most innovative studio programs in the country. Since it focuses on publishing and pedagogy specifically, students graduate with in-demand skills and experience working as interns. The hands-on involvement with the Toad Suck Review is also great experience for editing and other careers that require a background in using new technologies and successfully collaborating as a team.”-Professor Mark Spitzer

“The Writing Department at UCA is packed with teachers who do. All the Creative Writing faculty are not only excellent teachers, but published as well.” Professor Bob May

“You get truly personal attention at UCA.”-Professor Garry Craig Powell

If you like what you hear so far, look forward to an article next week on what we’re looking for in MFA applications and remember the deadline to apply is February 1, 2013.

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