Mills College MFA Candidates Use Poetry and Prose as Tools for Social Change
Oakland, CA–November 13, 2012 The English Department at Mills College has initiated a unique model of community engagement through poetry and prose. Select candidates for the Mills MFA in creative writing receive full-tuition assistantships to develop and implement meaningful community writing programs outside Mills.
“To our knowledge, the Community Poetics and the Narrative Writing & Community Engagement assistantships at Mills are the only ones of their kind in the country,” said Stephanie Young, graduate programs director for the English Department at Mills.
“Students explore how creative writing can be a tool for social change and why creative writing is a relevant art form with its strongest roots at the community level.”
Three current recipients of the full-tuition assistantships are already contributing to local communities in substantial ways. One student is coordinating poetry workshops to help at-risk women and teens. Another runs a political writing workshop for Oakland’s Filipino American community and plans to produce an anthology of their work, and a third student is launching a series of poetry workshops for men recently released from prison.