Fairfield’s MFA in Creative Writing Program Addresses Health and Healing
Due to the growing interest among writers of all ages to present the nature of health and healing through writing, the MFA in Creative Writing program at Fairfield University is introducing a new focus within its program, “Literary Health and Healing.”
The timing is right for such an addition, said Dr. Michael White, director of the MFA program. “With a world-class nursing program at Fairfield University as well as our new emphasis on writing by returning veterans, this focus on writing poetry, fiction, and memoir on the subject of health and healing is both timely and needed."
The MFA program will host a number of health-related events this semester.
On Friday, February 27, at 7 p.m. in the Fairfield University Bookstore, MFA alumni and current students from the program will gather to share their creative works regarding their experiences with Alzheimer’s disease. Alumnus Dan Hadjucky, a member of the Alzheimer’s Association – Connecticut Chapter (AACC), organized the event in conjunction with the Saturday, February 28, “Paint the Town Purple Awareness Blitz” in Westport, Connecticut to raise awareness of the disease. In addition to the free evening of readings, Lexi Rodriguez from the AACC, will be on hand to share information on the condition.
On April 20, at 2 p.m., MFA alumnus Chris Madden and current MFA student Dr. Meredith Kazer Wallace, dean of Fairfield’s School of Nursing, will host a free seminar on writing about healthcare issues in the Oak Room of the Barone Campus Center. At 5:30, the workshop will conclude with MFA faculty member Hollis Seamon reading from her book Somebody Up There Hates You, a novel about teenagers falling in love in hospice.
In July, the MFA program will hold its summer residency program for current students, which takes place from July 17-26 at Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut. A writer’s conference will be held in conjunction with the residency on July 17-21 and is open for non-students to apply.
Guest speaker Perri Klass, a pediatrician who writes fiction and non-fiction, will present, “A World Full of Stories: Writing and Medicine,” at the conference. In addition, a series of seminars focused on health, medicine and writing will be held.
“The Fairfield Summer Writers Conference is happy to add to its roster of classes and seminars the expertise of Dr. Klass,” said Dr. Carol Ann Davis, the organizer of the conference. “Dr. Klass offers a wealth of knowledge in both fiction and nonfiction writing to conference participants and joins a long list of writers throughout history—including the wonderful poet William Carlos Williams—who have taken up the literary pen from their unique perspectives as health professionals.”
*Pictured: Enders Island, the location of the MFA residency and conference.