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MFA Program Provides Fertile Environment to Explore

Student wanted to expand her writing genres but was surprised by the results

November 24, 2020

Rebecca Graham Forde ’22 has fallen in love with poetry.

As an executive producer/writer in television, Forde spends her days telling nonfiction stories, so her newfound love of verse caught her completely by surprise. Poetry was the first class she took after enrolling in the Mount’s MFA in Creative Writing in January this year. 

Rebecca Graham Forde '22 wanted to explore various writing genres but never expected to be so drawn to poetry.
Rebecca Graham Forde '22 wanted to explore various writing genres but never expected to be so drawn to poetry.

“Part of the reason I wanted to do this program was to explore writing in other mediums, like novels, to translate my life experiences and work into something other than nonfiction,” she says. “I knew it would be challenging to return to school after so many years, but I would have never guessed I would love it so much. What makes this program unique is that you don’t have to choose one particular track. I have taken courses in screen writing, novellas, Latin American-inspired chronicles and poetry. Each genre has its own nuances, and I’ve found studying one format feeds another.”

“Rebecca is an ideal student in that she came into my course without preconceptions,” says Johnny Payne, director of the Mount’s MFA in Creative Writing, who taught Forde’s poetry course. “Having an open mind is more important than previous knowledge. Her eagerness to excel, her patience and her curiosity make her a key member of our program. We prize members who are willing to experiment with many different forms of writing.”

Forde is looking forward to exploring more creative writing genres. “I can’t wait to take playwriting next summer,” she says. “That’s the joy of this program, to explore and not be committed to one thing. I had never written poetry before and it was really exciting to see my own personal progress in a format I was intimidated by. Overall the experience has been wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”