The nation’s first low-residency MFA program, a vital part of Warren Wilson College since 1981, has been ranked No. 1 among 46 current such programs by Poets & Writers Magazine. The 2012 rankings appear in the September/October 2011 issue of the magazine, found here.
The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson holds two 10-day residencies each year, in January and July. Warren Wilson MFA students and faculty mentors remain in contact by various means throughout the respective semesters. The residencies also feature public readings and lectures by the program’s distinguished faculty.
MFA Program Director Debra Allbery said, “Our program’s strengths lie in the effectiveness of our design, the diligence and dedication of our faculty and the talent and distinguished achievements of our graduates — each aligned with the high standards this program has set for itself throughout our 35 years.
“We pioneered this model, and it has proven both remarkably stable and brilliantly adaptive; it also provides an enduring and deeply supportive community. Our students, faculty and staff all consider it an exhilarating privilege to be part of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.”
Founded by Ellen Bryant Voigt, the MFA program began with 17 students and three faculty members in 1976 at Goddard College. The program moved south in 1981 to fellow work college Warren Wilson and now receives about 10 times the number of applications for admission it can accept. Warren Wilson MFA alumni have published several hundred books, and its faculty have won nearly every major honor in the country, including MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award.