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MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation

Our Community

On Campus: MFA Readings and Events

The New Salon in Queens: This series of readings by nationally renowned poets is a partnership between the Poetry Society of America and our MFA program. Each semester we bring a poet to campus to read and be interviewed by the PSA on stage. Each reading is followed by a reception and book-signing. This lively, fun series allows our community to engage with poets and poetry in wonderful ways.

On the Same Page: Held on several evenings during the fall semester, this series of informal discussions of literary texts is designed for the whole MFA community, both faculty and students. Two or three texts are assigned during the summer for everyone to read. (For instance, recently, we assigned The Atlantic Monthly Fiction Issue, Tory Dent’s book of poetry HIV Mon Amour and The Best American Essays.)  Led by one or two faculty members, the discussions are meant to engage everyone, and to explore matters of craft, form and language in the texts.

Trends in Translation: Each year we invite several esteemed literary translators to speak about the theory and practice of translation.  This year, we will offer a Trends in Translation Conference that will include a series of talks, readings and meetings.  Previous programs have shown writers the challenge and pleasure peculiar to this field and in doing so, we encourage translation from any one in the Program as a means to experiment and to expand their own creativity.  

Writers Read at Queens: This series is one of our most special events. Each semester, on a series of evenings, writers come to read and talk about their most recent book with our students in a salon-style setting.  The guest typically reads then takes questions and comments from the audience, all of whom have read the book. Some of our most fascinating and still on-going discussions have been generated during these conversations. We have had readings by poets and fiction writers and look forward next year to presentations by playwrights and children’s book authors as well.

Evening Reading Series: Sponsored by Queens College and directed by Joseph Cuomo, this renowned series brings many notable writers to campus, including, in the past, Arthur Miller, Jamaica Kincaid and Robert Pinsky. Readings are held at 7pm on Tuesday nights during the academic year. Leonard Lopate writer as well as host of The Leonard Lopate Show, conducts interviews of many of the writers. Further information is available at:

Our Bulletin Blog: One of the ways we keep in contact with our students and the wider community is through postings of news and events on our MFA bulletin blog. To read about our current readings and talks, go to:


Off Campus: Our Literary Partners

A huge advantage for our faculty and students is our location: New York City, the capital of culture and publishing!  Writers the world over vie for access to the resources that we have at hand. Beyond the Queens College campus events, there are a multitude of readings, panels, discussions, and employment possibilities.

Partnerships Across the US

We are also thrilled to have partnered with The Flea Theater in Manhattan which offers readings of playwrighting students' work as well as the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We have also recently worked with PEN America on creative writing and translation events.

Partnerships Across CUNY

And, as part of a larger university system, The City University of New York, our students are part of a network of graduate programs, three other CUNY MFA programs and the Graduate Center.  Although we are discrete academic programs, in the interest of community-building across the system, all of the four CUNY MFA programs often work together, in New York City and at the Associated Writing Programs' Conference each year.   We also gather for the Turnstyle reading series at the Graduate Center in Manhattan each spring.  In this wonderful series, MFA faculty and graduating MFA students read from their work.  For updates, see Creative Writing at CUNY:

Partnerships on Campus

On campus, we are proud to announce a new collaboration with the Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance called Play Development Lab in which MFA students and drama students work together to produce readings of new MFA student plays.

And we offer residencies with the Louis Armstrong House and Museum each spring.  This residency offers several MFA students the opportunity to work in the Armstrong archive on campus and to produce original writing based on Armstrong's life and work. This writing is then presented in a public reading at the Armstrong House in Queens.


 Office Information

Nicole Cooley, MFA Director
Creative Writing and Literary Translation
Department of English
Office: Klapper 702
Phone: 718-997-4671

New MFA Bulletin Blog

Visit our new Bulletin Blog at

Spring 2014 Events

Literary Legacy: Two Writers in Conversation on Craft and Process
Poets Lynn Emanuel and Terrance Hayes
Wednesday, February 5, 6:30 pm
Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Klapper Hall

Trends in Translation Talk
Anne Posten (German)
Monday, March 3, 6 pm
Klapper Hall 708

Workshop on Blogging in the Creative Writing Classroom and Beyond
Rob Garfield
Wednesday, March 12, 5 pm
Klapper Hall 710

Trends in Translation Talk
Naomi Carlson (French)
Monday, March 17, 6 pm
Klapper Hall 708

Trends in Translation Talk
Esther Allen (Spanish)
Wednesday, March 19, 5 pm
Klapper Hall 710

Trends in Translation Talk
Hillary Gulley (Italian and Spanish)
Monday, March 31, 6 pm
Klapper Hall 708

The Annual Chapbook Festival
Wednesday, April 2
CUNY Graduate Center, Manhattan

Trends in Translation
Charles Martin (Latin)
Monday, May 5, 6 pm
Klapper Hall 708

MFA Writers-in-Residence Read New Work Inspired by the Armstrong Archives
Saturday, May 17, 1 pm
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107th Street, Corona

Reading by the 2014 MFA Program Graduates
Thursday, May 29, 2 pm
Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Klapper Hall

All events are free and open to the public.
Readings will be followed by receptions and book signings.


June 2014 Conference in Uzès, France

The MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, CUNY offers an intimate, one-week conference in literary translation in the South of France. View the conference poster for complete information.


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