National Book Award Winners Phil Klay and Sigrid Nunez Join Fairfield MFA Faculty

National Book Award Winners Phil Klay and Sigrid Nunez Join Fairfield MFA Faculty

National Book Award-winning authors Phil Klay and Sigrid Nunez.

The best-selling authors will use their expertise to mentor Fairfield University creative writing students and faculty.

We are excited to have Phil work with our undergraduate and graduate writers because he is not only an outstanding writer, but a versatile one who has produced important work in fiction, nonfiction, and journalism.

— Sonya Huber, associate professor of English and director of the MFA in Creative Writing program

Fairfield University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creating Writing program is proud to welcome National Book Award-winning authors Phil Klay and Sigrid Nunez to the University. Klay is the graduate program’s first-ever writer-in-residence, and Nunez will be a guest faculty member during the program’s upcoming winter residency.

Klay’s position as writer-in-residence is a new role that is expected to evolve over time, but his initial responsibilities will include presenting at the MFA program’s 2019 summer residency as a featured writer, and hosting workshops throughout the year to mentor the University’s creative writing students and faculty. Other duties include presenting a public reading or lecture during the upcoming spring semester, as well as participating as a panel member at the Open VISIONS Forum’s Common Ground Lecture Series events.

“We are excited to have Phil work with our undergraduate and graduate writers because he is not only an outstanding writer, but a versatile one who has produced important work in fiction, nonfiction, and journalism,” said Sonya Huber, associate professor of English and director of Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. “His experience as a veteran and his commitment to pressing world issues is a wonderful example of the ways that writing can serve Jesuit ideals of social justice and service.”

A Dartmouth College graduate and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province as a public affairs officer before receiving his MFA from Hunter College of The City University of New York. His New York Times-bestselling short story collection, Redeployment, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014, in addition to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle John Leonard Award for best debut work in any genre, the American Library Association’s W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for excellence in military fiction, the Chautauqua Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Writing. Klay has been named a National Book Foundation ’5 Under 35′ honoree, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Essay series.

In addition to Klay, fellow National Book Award-winning author Sigrid Nunez will also join Fairfield’s MFA program as a guest faculty member during the program’s 2018 winter residency on Ender’s Island in Mystic, Conn.

Nunez has published seven novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, and, most recently, The Friend, which earned the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction. She has contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, and many other journals, and her work has also appeared in several anthologies, including four Pushcart Prize volumes and four anthologies of Asian-American literature. Nunez’s honors and awards include a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has taught at Columbia, Princeton, Boston University, and the New School.

Fairfield University’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing is a full-time, two-year low-residency program that helps aspiring writers develop their literary voice, hone their craft, and make important connections that lead to publication and national recognition. Throughout their course of study, students receive one-on-one mentorship from an award-winning faculty of published authors, and gather for ten-day residencies on Enders Island, a peaceful retreat off the coast of Connecticut that offers inspirational views and an environment of support and encouragement.

For more information about the program, visit fairfield.edu/mfa.

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Last modified: 11-08-18 12:00 AM

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