Sunday, March 21, 2010

Focus on Asian writing

The City University of Hong Kong is beginning the world’s first ever Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing specialising in Asian writing in English.

Based in the university’s Department of English, the 45-credit, two-year programme will accept a limited number of students in the categories of creative non-fiction, fiction and poetry. The degree is benchmarked to international MFA standards. Hong Kong-born, US-based author Xu Xi assisted in the design of the programme and joined the department as its first writer-in-residence earlier this month.

“We anticipate the majority of applicants to be from Asia,” Xu Xi says, “but many writers in the West, both of Asian and non-Asian ethnicity, are increasingly drawn to Asia, especially China.

“They’re not always best served by MFA programmes in the West where there’s little focus on either a contemporary or historical Asian perspective or Asian literature.” The faculty comprises writers who “know Asia, live Asia, read Asia, write Asia”, as the launch advertisement says.

The top criterion for admittance will be the quality of creative work. Internationally renowned novelist Timothy Mo will be visiting writer while faculty writers for the 2010 class features an international cast from Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, India, and the United States, with connections and roots in China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Full report here The Star Online

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