Bennington College

Vermont, United States

Low-residency program

The Bennington Writing Seminars offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing and Literature. This two-year graduate program involves five intense 10-day residency periods at Bennington College during January and June of each year. Between residencies, students spend the six-month terms corresponding directly with faculty who teach as part of the program's core staff. Additional faculty are invited to participate as associate staff during the 10-day residency periods, teaching literature from a writer's point of view. The five residencies feature workshops, readings, lectures, and discussions that are part of an ongoing investigation of what constitutes the world of letters.

In keeping with Bennington's progressive tradition, the course of study in the Seminars is structured largely by the student. Students, in concert with the core faculty, form their own reading lists, and submit interpretive and original work - fiction, nonfiction, and poetry - for critique at monthly intervals throughout the term. The development of individual work is at the heart of the program. Students are expected to devote at least 25 hours each week to their writing and reading.

Residency workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are conducted by the core faculty. Students design their course of study for the coming term - readings and writings - in consultation with the core faculty member with whom the student will be corresponding. Workshops are small, never more than 10 students and 2 teachers, and an intimate 5 to 1 student/teacher ratio is maintained throughout the program.

The first two semesters are devoted to original and interpretive work, with a minimum 10-page critical essay, based on work from the reading list, to be submitted to the core faculty member at the end of each term. The third semester requires that each student completes, in addition to original work, a minimum 20-page critical work. Finally, in addition to submitting a completed creative thesis, graduating students are required to present a literary lecture and give a reading of their own work during the fifth and final residency period.

Students are admitted to the program primarily on the strength of the original manuscript submitted with the application.

Contact Information

1 College Drive
Bennington Writing Seminars
Bennington
Vermont, United States
05201
Phone: 802-440-4454
Email: megang@bennington.edu
Fax: 802-440-4452
www.bennington.edu/mfa-writing



DEGREE PROGRAMS

Graduate Program Director

Mark Wunderlich
Director
One College Drive
Bennington Writing Seminars
Bennington
Vermont, United States
05201
Email: mwunderlich@bennington.edu
URL: www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting

The Bennington Writing Seminars offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing and Literature. This two-year graduate program involves five intense 10-day residency periods at Bennington College during January and June of each year. Between residencies, students spend the six-month terms corresponding directly with faculty who teach as part of the program's core staff. Additional faculty are invited to participate as associate staff during the 10-day residency periods, teaching literature from a writer's point of view. The five residencies feature workshops, readings, lectures, and discussions that are part of an ongoing investigation of what constitutes the world of letters.

In keeping with Bennington's progressive tradition, the course of study in the Seminars is structured largely by the student. Students, in concert with the core faculty, form their own reading lists, and submit interpretive and original work - fiction, nonfiction, and poetry - for critique at monthly intervals throughout the term. The development of individual work is at the heart of the program. Students are expected to devote at least 25 hours each week to their writing and reading.

Residency workshops in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are conducted by the core faculty. Students design their course of study for the coming term - readings and writings - in consultation with the core faculty member with whom the student will be corresponding. Workshops are small, never more than 10 students and 2 teachers, and an intimate 5 to 1 student/teacher ratio is maintained throughout the program.

The first two semesters are devoted to original and interpretive work, with a minimum 10-page critical essay, based on work from the reading list, to be submitted to the core faculty member at the end of each term. The third semester requires that each student completes, in addition to original work, a minimum 20-page critical work. Finally, in addition to submitting a completed creative thesis, graduating students are required to present a literary lecture and give a reading of their own work during the fifth and final residency period.

Students are admitted to the program primarily on the strength of the original manuscript submitted with the application.

Type of Program: Low-Residency Program
Largest Class Size: 10
Smallest Class Size: 5
Genres: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Duration of Study: 2 years
Unit of Measure: Credits
Total Units for Degree: 64
Application Requirements: Transcripts, Writing Sample, Application Form, Letters of Recommendation, Other




FACULTY

Sven Birkerts

The Other Walk. Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again. Reading Life: Books for the Ages.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Martha Cooley

The Archivist. Thirty-Three Swoons.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


David Gates

Jemigan. Preston Falls. A collection of short stories, The Wonders of the Visible World.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Amy Hempel

Reasons to Live, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Tumble Home, and The Dog of the Marriage.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Alice Mattison

When We Argued All Night. Nothing is Quite Forgotten In Brooklyn. A collection of connected stories, In Case We're Separated.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Sheila Kohler

The Bay of Foxes. Becoming Jane Eyre. Love Child. Bluebird or The Invention of Happiness.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Askold Melnyczuk

The House of Widows. Ambassador of the Dead. What is Told.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Bernard Cooper

The Bill from My Father. Truth Serum. A book of essays, Maps to Anywhere.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Bret Anthony Johnston

Corpus Christi: Stories.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Susan Cheever

Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography. American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne an Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Lynne Sharon Schwartz

See You in the Dark (poetry). Not Now, Voyager. Rough Strife. The Writing on the Wall. Leaving Brooklyn.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Ed Ochester

Unreconstructed: Poems Selected & New. The Republic of Lies, a chapbook. The Land of Cockaigne.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Phillip Lopate

Two Marriages, a pair of novellas. Notes on Sontag. At the End of the Day: Selected Poems.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Timothy Liu

Bending the Mind Around the Dream's Blow Fuse. Polytheogamy. For Dust Thou Art.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Amy Gerstler

Dearest Creature. Ghost Girl. Medicine. Crown of Weeds. Bitter Angel.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Brian Morton

Breakable You. A Window Across the River. Starting Out in the Evening.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Rachel Pastan

Lady of the Snakes. This Side of Married.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Paul Yoon

Once the Shore.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Dinah Lenney

Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


April Bernard

Miss Fuller. Romanticism. Blackbird Bye Bye. Psalms. Swan Electric.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Major Jackson

Holding Company. Hoops. Leaving Saturn.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx


Mark Wunderlich

The Anchorage. Voluntary Servitude. The Earth Avails.

www.bennington.edu/MFAWriting/MFAWritingFaculty.aspx