The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College


Mark Author Photo B&W

Mark Nowak

Professor & Program Director
Mark Nowak, a 2010 Guggenheim fellow, is an award-winning poet, social critic, and labor activist, whose writings include The New York Times “Editor’s Choice,” Shut Up Shut Down (2004, afterword by Amiri Baraka), and the acclaimed book on coal mining disasters in the US and China, Coal Mountain Elementary (2009), that Howard Zinn called “a stunning educational tool.” Nowak is also the founding director of the Worker Writers School at the PEN American Center in NYC.

Camille Rankine

Assistant Director
Camille Rankine is the author of Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. The recipient of a 2010 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize, she is featured as an emerging poet in the fall 2010 issue of American Poet and the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a graduate of Harvard University, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.
Jeff Bens

Jeff Bens

Fiction Workshop, Screenwriting Workshop
Jeff Bens is the author of the novel Albert, Himself (Delphinium) and director of the documentary film Fatman's. His short fiction and essays are published widely. Jeff was a founding faculty member of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has served on film festival juries around the world. He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Manhattanville College.

Neela Vaswani

Topics, Cross-Genre Workshop, Fiction Workshop
Neela Vaswani is author of the short story collection Where the Long Grass Bends, and a memoir, You Have Given Me a Country. She is the recipient of the American Book Award, an O. Henry Prize, the ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal, and many other honors. She is also co-author of the Middle Grade novel-in-letters, Same Sun Here. An education activist in India and the United States, Vaswani is founder and curator of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library.
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Joanna Clapps Herman

Foundations in Graduate Creative Writing
Joanna Clapps Herman’s is the author of a memoir, The Anarchist Bastard (SUNY Press, 2011) a well as two forthcoming books: a collection of short stories, No Longer and Not Yet, (SUNY Press, 2013) and After the Manner of Women, a cultural memoir, (Fordham University Press, 2014). She is co-editor of two anthologies: Wild Dreams: The Best of Italian Americana (Fordham University Press, 2008), and of Our Roots Are Deep with Passion (Other Press, 2007). She is currently a fellow at the Writers’ Institute at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Fatin Abbas

Topics, Fiction Workshop
Fatin Abbas is a Sudanese-American writer. She completed her PhD in Comparative Literature at Harvard University and her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at Hunter College, CUNY. At Hunter she studied under Peter Carey, Colum McCann and Claire Messud. Her fiction has appeared in Freeman's, The Warwick Review, and Friction, and her journalism has appeared in The Nation, Bidoun and She is at work on a novel set in Sudan.