Choosing a graduate school is never an easy task…not when there are literally hundreds from which to choose. When Rick Marlatt was admitted into the Low Residency MFA at UCR, it didn’t exist yet. It was the summer of 2008 and the Low Residency program had just been launched. We had no students. We had no alumni. We had six professors and an idea for what the program would become. (We now have, in order: ~100 students, a huge network of alumni, 16 core faculty members, and 50 guest residency faculty members each year.) And Rick Marlatt, who could have attended any MFA program in the country, because they all would have accepted him, became our first student. Since then, he’s gone on to publish three books of poetry, pen the documentary Palm Springs: Hollywood’s Playground, work as the post-production supervisor on The Age of Reason, crank out his own original scripts and, in his spare time, work on his PhD, too. We asked Rick to tell us briefly about his time in the program…and why you should make sure to apply by August 1st.
The uncanny combination of freedom and accountability is what drew me to the program. Students have tremendous choice in terms of their degree pursuit including explorations of multiple genres and disciplines, and yet they are at all times surrounded by talented peers and directed by nationally-recognized professors greatly concerned with leadership and education. My time in the program was enormously informative and prepared me greatly for the professional worlds of publishing and creating. The program has what every writer wants: creative space to develop one’s craft, a rigorous and fulfilling curriculum, and an award-winning faculty defined by their commitment to student success, as well as their industry expertise. The UCR Palm Desert Low Residency MFA is UC’s best kept secret, but the secret is getting out. Now is the time to start your writing career. Get your feet into the fire with the Hottest MFA.
If you have questions about the program, want to talk to a current or former student, or faculty member, feel free to contact Agam Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-834-0926.