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Reinhardt offers newly approved graduate program

 Reinhardt University is proud to announce its SACS-COC approved Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. The Etowah Valley MFA program is seven semesters with five individual studies, four online courses, three writing residences and one book. It kicks off this summer with a 10-day summer residency. The university was notified March 10 that the program had received accreditation.

The deadline to enroll is April 18. Scholarships are available.

The MFA in creative writing will bring together writers of many different worlds and teach them varied styles from fiction and creative-nonfiction to poetry and scriptwriting. The low-residency program is geared to help those with career and family obligations further their education.

“Reinhardt University’s move to launch a low-residency MFA program in creative writing is palpable evidence of our commitment to providing graduate education for students who cannot take two or three years out of their professional life or family obligations to pursue their educational goals,” said Dr. Mark Roberts, vice president and dean for Academic Affairs and professor of English at Reinhardt University. “The low-residency model – where students enroll in individual studies with a ‘writing guide’ and in online courses during the fall and spring and then spend 10 days in the summer learning and writing among a community of respected literary artists — is not only convenient, it is a proven model that provides quality teaching through in-depth, personalized instruction.”

With the MFA in creative writing, Reinhardt University is taking over the James Dickey Review, a publication most recently led by Lynchburg College in Virginia. Dickey’s family hailed from Cherry Log, Georgia, and his famous novel, Deliverance, was based on the flooding of the Coosawattee River to make Carter’s Lake.

In celebration of the MFA in creative writing and the new home of the James Dickey Review, Raymond Atkins and Jim May will read from their new books and sign copies March 16 at 2 p.m. at Reinhardt’s Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center. On March 23, the Panel of Georgia Writers will be held at 7 p.m. at Reinhardt’s Funk Heritage Center. Christopher Martin, Bill Walsh, Lynn Pedersen and Jeff Clemmons will share and discuss poems and stories that Georgia life has inspired for them. The writers’ panel event is co-sponsored with Reinhardt by the Allatoona Arts Center and the Allatoona Book Festival.

“The Etowah Valley Writer’s MFA in creative writing is focused on developing creative responses to the post-modern and distinctly Southern places and spaces in which we live,” Roberts said. “Reinhardt’s MFA shows the university’s commitment to providing higher education opportunities that not only develop marketable skills but are also deeply rooted in developing the understanding our community and imagining its ethical, environmental, social, cultural and artistic progress.”

Core faculty in the MFA program that will mentor students one-on-one and teach the residency workshops and online classes bring great expertise in the field to share with those looking to further their education in creative writing.

The program includes David Bottoms, a Georgia Poet Laureate. His first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was chosen by Robert Penn Warren as the winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. Bottoms’ poems have appeared widely in magazine such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s Poetry and the Paris Review, as well as in 60 anthologies and textbooks. He has written seven other books of poetry, two novels and a book of essays and interviews. Bottoms’ most recent book of poems, We Almost Disappear, was released in the fall of 2011.

Atkins, who will be on campus with Jim May for a booksigning and reading, is a resident of Rome and English teacher at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.  He has penned several novels, including The Front Porch Prophet, which garnered the Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel, Sorrow Wood, Camp Redemption, which earned the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction and 2014 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Fiction. His fourth novel, Sweetwater Blues, is a Townsend Prize nominee.

More information on faculty involved in the program, as well as additional information, can be found at www.reinhardt.edu/mfa-cw.

For program specifics, contact Dr. Donna Little, program director, at (770) 720-5582 or dlc@reinhardt.edu. For admissions information, contact Hilary Martin, graduate admissions coordinator, at (770) 720-5760 or gradadmissions@reinhardt.edu

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