Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

An renowned author with a vision for a program and for RU-N

Jayne Anne Phillips came to Rutgers-Newark in 2005 with a mission: To develop a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.  She also came with a vision of creating a “dynamic MFA for the 21st century, a time in which diversity and communication will be paramount.” Phillips also wanted to draw upon the energy of the campus’s urban environment, an environment in which she saw many intriguing possibilities for an aspiring writer.

By all measures she has succeeded. By the time the first classes began in fall 2007, the program was already being hailed by The Atlantic magazine as one of the “Five Up-and Coming Programs in Creative Writing in the U.S.”

Graduate students in the program, seeking to develop their skills and creative gifts, are also fulfilling dreams. Several of the program’s graduate students in fiction, poetry and non-fiction have already garnered accolades for their work, including a Stegner Fellowship, and others have had their work published in distinguished journals.

Phillips’ own creative writing is acclaimed nationally; her latest novel, Lark and Termite (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009), has been nominated for the 2009 National Book Award in fiction, and was awarded the Heartland Prize for Fiction, conferred by The Chicago Tribune. Lark and Termite received critical acclaim from The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Publisher’s Weekly , among others. Phillips also is the author of MotherKind (2000), Shelter (1994) and Machine Dreams (1984), and two collections of widely anthologized stories, Fast Lanes (1987) and Black Tickets (1979).

Phillips is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Bunting Fellowship. She has been awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction (1980) and an Academy Award in Literature (1997) by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been translated into 12 languages and has appeared in Granta, Harper's, DoubleTake and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction.

In 2015 Phillips was awarded a $50,000 Chancellor's Seed Grant for a new project, the "MFA Program Artists Chapbooks/Broadsides Collaboration."

Phillips is a graduate of West Virginia University.

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