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MFA English Program

University of Mississippi

M.F.A. Welcome

From the Desk of the Director

Derrick Harriell

Derrick Harriell

“What a time to be alive and a writer in Oxford, Mississippi. Why is everyone talking about the University of Mississippi’s M.F.A. program? It’s because we boast an incredibly accomplished creative writing faculty and some of the brightest hardworking students out there. Welcome to our website which will allow you the opportunity to learn about those things that make our program unique. View our short film which shows us in action—in the classroom, and in the community. Peruse the student stories in our e-brochure to learn why our graduates are succeeding at an exceptional rate and crediting UM for their results. Check out our faculty profiles to discover the exciting work our faculty writers are producing and our strong commitment to mentorship. Learn what can happen when a small, select group of students (we only accept between 6-8 a year, out of several hundred applicants) are brought to a beautiful place and provided FULL-FUNDING and nurtured intensely (our student-teacher ratio approaches 4:1). We are the M.F.A. Program at the University of Mississippi and I’m thrilled to be a part of all the wonderful things that are happening here.”

Derrick Harriell, director of the M.F.A. Program and associate professor of English and African American Studies

Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Currently celebrating its seventeenth year, our MFA program has been ranked one of The Atlantic Monthly‘s “Top Five Up and Coming Programs,” and was recently ranked number 6 in “Top 10 Universities for Aspiring Writers” by College Magazine.  Features include funding, cost of living, selectivity, teaching load, curricular structure, and placement of graduates. That a program only 17 years old has cracked the Tier One ranking is a notable accomplishment–congratulations to our current students, our growing list of distinguished alumni, our faculty and our supportive administration for this recognition. We specialize in what we do best, fiction and poetry, and supplement our specialities with creative nonfiction, screen writing, and eco-writing. Students here benefit from our well-endowed readings series (the fall of 2015, Visiting Writers included Claudia Rankine and Craig Santos Perez) and interactions with the John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence (a yearly appointment for an emerging writer). A student-run readings series and our literary magazine, The Yalobusha Review, are just some of the opportunities that our students can take advantage of. Our environment is close-knit and encouraging, and Ole Miss was ranked in The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s 2010 list of “Great Colleges to Work For. We are located in Oxford, Mississippi, home of Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, literary conferences, the best bookstore in the South, an active music scene, and great restaurants, 70 miles from Memphis.