Thursday, December 10, 2015

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2015


The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), in close collaboration with Notre Dame’s Creative Writing Program, is pleased to announce the continuation of a two-year graduate assistantship for an incoming M.F.A. candidate in poetry beginning in the fall of 2016.

The recipient of the assistantship will be selected from the pool of students admitted to the Creative Writing Program by the M.F.A. poetry faculty, including Orlando Menes, ILS Fellow, and Joyelle McSweeney, current director of the Creative Writing Program. The selected candidate, in addition to the tuition waiver all admitted students receive, will have a stipend for each of his/her two years in the program. The selected poet will work with the ILS’ literary initiative, Letras Latinas.

"The Creative Writing Program's dynamic partnership with Letras Latinas exemplifies our view that activism, collaboration, publications and translation are all facets of the writing life. We're delighted by this assistantship," said Joyelle McSweeney, the current director of the program.

The selected candidate will succeed current second-year M.F.A. candidate Ae Hee Lee (‘16), who has held the assistantship since the Fall of 2014, and whose duties include creating content for Letras Latinas Blog and assisting with an undergraduate course on Latino/a poetry in the Fall.

"I have met many writers through Letras Latinas. I’ve had the chance to interview some of them, and have shared friendships and readings with others. This is why—as someone who was born in South Korea but grew up in Peru—I have found this work of fostering fellowship among Latino/a writers as something valuable and heartening. Assisting with a course on Latino/a poetry has also been enriching. It provided pedagogical tools that may serve me in the future. However, the true delight has been witnessing students come into an awareness of U.S. Latino/a voices through poetry and the beauty of words," said Lee.

The continuation of this stipend is consistent with the ILS’ mission of providing funding opportunities to graduate students in Latino Studies. "The Institute for Latino Studies advances understanding of the fastest-growing and youngest population in the United States and in the U.S. Catholic Church. Graduate education is an essential component of this mission, as is our ILS literary initiative, Letras Latinas. We are delighted to partner with the Creative Writing Program in this important venture," said ILS co-directors Luis Fraga and Timothy Matovina

Since its creation in 1999 the Institute for Latino Studies has played a vital role in fostering understanding of the U.S. Latino experience. Building upon the outstanding intellectual legacy of Julian Samora, a pioneering Latino scholar and professor, the Institute supports interdisciplinary initiatives in Latino Studies as a key component of the University’s academic mission.

The Creative Writing Program is a two-year course of study, culminating in a Master of Fine Arts in English. It is a literary immersion program, inviting students to engage in the writing life of the university by taking courses in literature, the writing of poetry and/or fiction, and a wide range of electives suited to the particular interest of the student. The writing life of the program also includes participating in a range of editorial and/or teaching opportunities, as well as this Latino Studies assistantship.

For further information contact:
Joyelle McSweeney, 
Director of Creative Writing

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