November 18, 2002
A special poetry reading on campus will join SFSU graduate fiction writers with creative writing students from San Francisco's School of the Arts (SOTA) at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, in Humanities building room 133.
The event is the brainchild of SOTA teacher Heather Woodward, who is completing her master of fine arts degree in creative writing at SFSU. This fall Woodward founded SOTA's creative writing program, an intensive high school program in fiction, poetry and playwriting.
Her class of 28 will read poems alongside several of Woodward's colleagues in the MFA program. Faculty from both schools will speak. The reading is free and open to the public.
Tuesday's event is part of what Woodward expects to be a continuing partnership between SFSU's Creative Writing Department and School of the Arts, a respected arts academy within the San Francisco Unified School District. Recent collaborations have also included a visit by Maxine Chernoff, chair of creative writing at SFSU, and readings by Giancarlo Campagna, a creative writing MFA student.
Woodward, who previously received her teaching credential at SFSU, is excited about the partnership. "State just has one of the greatest creative writing programs in the country," she said, adding that she is grateful for all the support she received from the University. "I love what I do. I love this."
An integral part of the Bay Area's lively literary scene, SFSU's highly competitive and widely respected Creative Writing Department attracts students from around the world. For 40-plus years, it has been an invaluable training ground for fledgling fiction writers, poets and playwrights. The department boasts hundreds of actively publishing graduates, including best-selling authors Anne Rice, Po Bronson, Gail Tsukiyama and Ernest Gaines. Over the years students have benefited from the instruction of renowned writers such as Frances Mayes (also an alumna), Molly Giles (also an alumna) and Brighde Mullins.
Admission to SOTA is highly competitive and requires an audition. In addition to the new specialization in creative writing, the school offers concentrations in dance, film, instrumental music, voice, theatre and visual arts. The creative writing program emphasizes exploring writing through cross-disciplinary arts and attending public readings and other cultural events. Its graduating seniors prepare comprehensive written works suitable for publication. Through the SOTA-SFSU partnership, students at the high school are also able to attend lectures at the University.
School of the Arts will host a separate reading and fundraiser Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market St., (415) 421-4687.
1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111