“Most of us are not compelled to linger with the knowledge of our aloneness, for it is a knowledge that can paralyze all action in this world. There are, forever, swamps to be drained, cities to be created, mines to be exploited, children to be fed. None of these things can be done alone. But the conquest of the physical world is not man’s only duty. He is also enjoined to conquer the great wilderness of himself. The precise role of the artist, then, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lose site of its purposes, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.

James Baldwin – “The Creative Process”


We are an MFA Program that values community, encourages risks in craft,
and promotes crossing boundaries through imagination and language.
Join us and see how far you can take your writing.

Crossing Boundaries is Key

In the Queens College MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation Program. Situated in one of the most diverse communities in the world, we play seriously with expression. Small classes and conferences make for individually-guided work. Cross-genre classwork makes translation as much a metaphor for exploring one’s craft as it is a unique opportunity.

Community is Key

Faculty members are all active in their writing lives–publishing, giving readings, and promoting what we think of as literary citizenship. Partnerships from our networks include events and book awards. Our students launch projects and, of course, bring in their own connections. Further, our English Dept. profs. welcome our writers into graduate literature classes and they are keen on having current students teach.

Exploration is Key

How to bring one’s literary vision to bear? Apart from honing craft, one can broaden subject matter into new areas—for example, by digging into archives (Queens College has archived its Civil Rights history as well as the borough’s most famous citizen Louis Armstrong; just added are COVID19 pandemic narratives).

And, there is expansion by writing from a historical point of view–of which our faculty members have done in their own work, whether using testimonies from the Salem Witch Trials or vintage photographs from flea markets. Yet another example of expanding one’s subject matter is by broadening one’s linguistic range. And, of course, because we are in the New York metropolitan area, students have access to organizations and organizing in the most current and on-going areas.

If you wish to work intensively in one genre and cross over, join us. If you wish to explore new areas of subject matter, take a look at how faculty and students have produced work that includes the interior self, as well as the ever-changing social landscape of our times–and join us.

If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact us.

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