About the Program
The Drew University Master of Fine Arts in Poetry Program is a two-year, low-residency program for poets and poet translators. Students hone and develop their talent, as well as gain knowledge of the craft and poetics of contemporary American writers, and writers from other eras and cultures. The program offers some of America’s most talented poets as faculty mentors who work one-on-one with our students.
The program is divided into short, intense residencies and mentorship semesters. During residencies, students and faculty come together on Drew’s beautiful campus in Madison, New Jersey. Residencies consist of ten days of public readings, lectures, workshops, as well as close work and planning between students and mentors for the mentorship semester. During the mentorship semesters students return home to complete the work agreed upon during their previous residency while under the watch and care of experienced mentor-poets. The program culminates in a fifth residency, at which graduating students participate in a panel discussion and offer a public reading of the work they have completed over the course of their time in the MFA Program in Poetry.
We offer three tracks, a track in Poetry, a track in Poetry in Translation, and a combined MFA in Poetry & Poetry in Translation (which requires an additional semester and an additional residency). The Drew MFA Program in Poetry is committed to making sure that all students, no matter which track they are on, are exposed to a broad range of poets and translators.
The MFA in Poetry requires that each student working on an M.F.A. in Poetry or in Poetry in Translation attend five residencies and complete four mentorship semesters for a total of 64 credits in order to graduate. Students earning an M.F.A. in Poetry and Poetry in Translation attend six residencies and complete five mentorship semesters for a total of 80 credits in order to graduate.
During the MFA program students and faculty gather twice a year for ten days to learn, listen, and write together. During the residencies, students will participate in poetry workshops, craft seminars, and readings. The residency is designed as an incubation period, an intense immersion into poetry.
At each residency students will attend workshops in the mornings, lectures in the afternoons, and readings most evenings. Students will also meet with their mentors to create their study plans for the coming mentorship semester.
Graduating students attending their fifth residency will give a panel presentation and a reading of their own work.
Housing for Residencies
MFA students will live in dormitories on Drew’s campus during their residencies. While housing arrangements may vary, students can expect to be housed in suite-style accommodations, with their own bedroom and a bathroom shared by other MFA students occupying the suite. Three meals per day are included during residencies.
During the semesters between the ten day residencies students return home and correspond with a faculty-mentor. Mentorship semesters offer periods in which students are engaged in the solitary work of writing poetry, and of reading and writing critically. Study plans devised at the residencies are fulfilled, and the challenge of sending packets back and forth between student and mentor creates excitement, energy, and growth. Requirements for mentorship semesters change as students progress through the program.