• CWP Rockcastle

    Message from the Director

    In the play Look Back in Anger by John Osborne that premiered in 1956, the main character, Jimmy Porter, is an educated Englishman who rages against an oppressive class system.  At one point in the play Jimmy says, “people of our generation aren’t able to die for good causes any longer . . . There aren’t any good, brave causes left.” Some critics at the time called Jimmy’s point of view pessimistic nihilism. When I read the play, I am moved by what I see as Jimmy’s belief in the possibilities of human existence.

    I believe that we live in a time filled with good, brave causes. We need good, brave people to take them on, people who know themselves and their own values and beliefs – who can problem solve with intelligence and creativity – who can write with originality and grace – who can adapt to change – who can draw upon a base of knowledge when faced with complex problems – who are open to new perspectives and new ways of thinking about the world.

    Students who enroll in our graduate programs are, like Jimmy Porter, interested in the possibilities of human existence. Those who enter our Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program wish to broaden from a narrower undergraduate or professional specialty or engage in lifelong learning as a value in itself. Students who seek the terminal MFA degree in creative writing do so for personal fulfillment or as a path to a career as a writer, editor, or teacher of writing.

    One of the joys of working in the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline is to be in the midst of a caring, accomplished group of faculty and a diverse, stimulating mix of students, all of them interesting and hard-working adults eager to develop as thinkers and writers.  At Hamline, we believe in hands-on, student-centered, active learning. Strong student-faculty relationships, many of which extend long after graduation, are an earmark of our program.

    In her book The Black Interior, poet Elizabeth Alexander discusses what she calls “the fundamental work of internal liberation” that is central to the poetic process. My colleagues and I believe this internal liberation is central to authentic learning as well.

    I encourage you to browse through our website and to take advantage of the ongoing readings and events sponsored by the Creative Writing Programs. Feel free to contact me or any of our staff to learn more about our programs.

    Mary F. Rockcastle, Director  

    See Mary's faculty profile

  • On the Program

    "With every class, I learn of more and more ways to get my creative work out into the world."

    -- Maricella Miranda, alum

    Hamline student quote