About this course
Many MFA programs can give you a dazzling list of faculty: famous writers, household names who have taught in the past, who sometimes teach, or will occasionally teach in the future. Maybe they will be there when you arrive, or maybe they won’t be. You should really ask. If you listen closely to the answers, you will discover that the following promise is rare and precious: at Hunter, there are only three teachers in each of the disciplines. These are our faculty. These are the writers who will really teach you. What you see is what you get.
Peter Carey is one of only two writers in the world to have won the Booker Prize twice. He’ll teach you every Spring Semester.
Colum McCann won the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin. He’ll teach you every single semester you’re at Hunter. Four courses in four semesters.
Nathan Englander is an international bestselling author and winner of the PEN/Faulkner Malmud Award. He will teach you every Fall Semester.
One of these people will also be your thesis advisor, which means you would work with him intensely one-on-one for a whole semester during your final year.
Louise DeSalvo will teach your three out of every four semesters. She has published sixteen books, including the memoirs Vertigo, Breathless, Adultery, and Crazy in the Kitchen, and has won numerous literary awards including one of Italy’s most prestigious, the Premo Acerbi.
Kathryn Harrison is the New York Times bestselling author of memoirs The Kiss, The Mother Knot, The Road to Santiago, and eight other books. She teaches every single semester.
And Meena Alexander occasionally teaches poetry or memoir. Her books include the poetry collections Quickly Changing River, Raw Silk, Illiterate Heart (winner of the PEN Open Book Award), River and Bridge, (as editor) the Everyman anthology Indian Love Poems, and the memoir Fault Lines.
Tom Sleigh won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award for Space Walk. His poems also regularly appear in The New Yorker, the American Poetry Review and many other top-tier publications. He will teach either one or both semesters each year. He has published eight books of poetry, criticism and translation.
Jan Heller Levi has received the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and the Emily Dickinson Award and the George Bogin Memorial Award, both from the Poetry Society of America. She teaches every Fall Semester.
Donna Masini teaches either one or both semesters each year. Her trophy cabinet includes the following: the Barnard Women Poet’s Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant.
1. Meet these academic requirements
You need a Bachelor's degree in any discipline and an official transcript.
2. Demonstrate talent
We'll look at your grades, of course; but what we are really hungry for is talent, so we need to read what you can write. If you're a poet, send us up to 10 pages of poetry. If you're a fiction writer, send us 20-25 pages (a short story, the start of a novel, or several short stories that total 20-25 pages). Sending more than 25 pages won't help your cause. If you're applying for our non-fiction program, send us no more than 20 pages of non-fiction prose.
All the fiction and nonfiction pages you send us must be double-spaced and in a twelve-point font. Poetry may be single-spaced or double-spaced.
3. Apply online (by clicking here)
You'll need two letters of recommendation, both of which need to be submitted online by your recommenders no later than February 1.
4. Write a story about yourself
Tell us about yourself, why you write, and why you wish to come to Hunter. You've got 500 words to do this, so that does not mean 600 words.
5. For non-fiction only, a proposal
Write a 500-word proposal outlining your memoir idea.