Hamline News

MFAC Faculty Gene Luen Yang Featured Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith


MFAC faculty member Gene Luen Yang has been interviewed by Cynthia Leitich Smith for a new feature on the Cynsations blog.

Yang, who has been a faculty member in the MFAC program since 2012, spoke about his experiences as a writer, teacher, and member of the Hamline MFAC community. He says, “I’ve experienced Hamline to be a place that welcomes every kind of story. […] I love being a part of the Hamline community. I know I'm there to teach, but I feel like I learn so much.”

He adds, “I love hearing how other writers working in other formats and genres approach their craft. I love seeing my students grow in their storytelling prowess. I love seeing them grow in their confidence.”

When asked about the changes he has seen during his time teaching in the program, Gene says of his students, “They learn to give from themselves through story.

And just as importantly, they learn to call themselves writers. Many of us write in isolation. Many of us are in families or friend groups that enjoy stories, but don't really see their relevance. Many of us feel embarrassed to call ourselves writers.

Being a part of a writing community, getting to discuss the minute details of what makes a story work... if you haven't yet given yourself permission to call yourself a writer, it may be because you need to join a writing community.”

Our thanks to Cynthia Leitich Smith and Gene Luen Yang for this wonderful feature!