PMC Gradutes First Class of its MFA Program

Pine Manor College celebrated the first commencement ceremony of the College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program on Saturday, July 19, 2008.

“Congratulations to the first class of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College,” said Dennis Lehane, one of the Program’s founding fiction faculty members. “I hope you’re as proud of yourselves and your accomplishments as we faculty are.” Mr. Lehane, who serves as the program’s writer-in-residence, is author of such best-selling novels as Mystic River; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Shutter Island.

The MFA Program features concentrations in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and writing for children & young adults. Two of the three MFA students who graduated from Pine Manor write for young people, while the third is a poet. Receiving their MFA Degrees were Kirsten Blocker of Massachusetts; Adam Eisenson of North Carolina; and John Theo, Jr., of Massachusetts.

Adam Eisenson, who concentrated in writing for children and young adults, spoke on behalf of his class, saying: “If you attend an MFA in Creative Writing program with an open mind and allow yourself the chance to be taught by established authors, take risks, and work hard, then there is no other place you should be than Pine Manor College. I learned more than you'll ever know.”

Pine Manor’s first MFA Commencement speaker was celebrated children’s book writer and illustrator Nina Crews. In addition to offering advice about nurturing and believing in their own creative endeavors, Ms. Crews let the graduates know that their work as students of the art of writing would not end when they received their diplomas. “I wish that you continue to grow as writers,” said Crews. “I don’t know that this ever really ends—I hope it doesn’t. I do believe that one does gain mastery of one’s craft, but good writers continue to seek new challenges. Through those challenges, they continue to grow.”  

Pine Manor College launched its Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program in July 2006 and already boasts the most diverse faculty in the country, including Pushcart Prize winners Ray Gonzalez, Terence Hayes, and Dzvinia Orlowsky; Coretta Scott King Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson; Guggenheim winner Randall Kenan; and National Book Award Finalists An Na, Laban Carrick Hill, and Sandra Scofield, among others.

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