This year marks the 10th anniversary of Wilkes University’s Creative Writing MA/MFA Program. I cannot believe it’s been six years since I have walked through those hallowed doors. Wilkes has done many things for me, but perhaps the most significant is this: Wilkes made it okay for me to consider myself a writer. No longer was writing a hobby, or something I wished I could do with my life, writing was real and present in my everyday life. I’m always asked the same question: why an MFA? why Wilkes? My answer is never simple, and it won’t be simple today.
20 Reasons to Consider an MFA:
- Because at eleven years old, you told a lie in your writing that was believed deeply by the adults in your life.
- Because you invented Richard and Leona when you were twelve.
- Because you saw a story about a little girl, and that story started a fire deep inside of you that only a poem could snuff out.
- Because divorce and heartbreak and loss and grief and betrayal spill onto the page in exactly the same ink as love and happiness.
- Because Richard and Leona were high school sweethearts, you invented a difficult road ahead for them.
- Because men have loved you in the wrong ways, and words never have.
- Because everyone else in your family paints.
- Because in middle school you wrote love poems and sold them for $1 apiece.
- Because Richard could never accept his lot in life and gambled away the mortgage payment-which enraged Leona.
- Because when bad things happened to you, the answer was never in a bottle, but always in a journal.
- Because when you were thirteen, you believed with every fiber of your being that you could communicate with John Lennon, and the only boy in the world who believed you was another poet.
- Because Leona ran off with the pool boy, and you had not yet learned of cliché.
- Because you couldn’t afford therapy.
- Because you have few gifts to offer, words will have to suffice.
- Because New York City is beautiful at dusk, and only a poem can tell us so.
- Because you loved Richard and Leona, your first characters, even though they couldn’t love each other.
- Because life is hard, and words are easier.
- Because you have a story that lives inside of you, and if you don’t pay attention, it will claw its way out.
- Because Richard and Leona deserve a chance.
- Because everyone needs love, and you have learned how to give it…with words.
If you have a belly full of ideas and a heart bursting with stories, you will find no better canvas on which to experiment than the Wilkes University Creative Writing Program.