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Kristin Garaas-Johnson, Grand Forks, Published December 08 2013

Letter: MSUM creative writing program comes to sad end

I am saddened to hear of my former professors’ and colleagues’ decision to end the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

As a 2003 graduate and former English adjunct, I credit the program for not only providing me with a relevant education necessary in furthering my career, but also the opportunity to convene with like-minded professionals who brought an innovative flair to the classroom setting.

MSUM’s MFA program helped me launch my career in the publication industry, having served New Rivers Press, Casino Services Publishing, and Forum Communications as its former Red River Valley Women Today editor.

The program also instilled within me a unique skill set that I draw on today, whether teaching the craft of writing to students at Grand Forks Central High School or as I reflect on my doctoral research for my dissertation in the educational leadership program at UND.

I also credit the program with my happy marriage of 11 years. It was in a British nature poets class taught by Dr. Meiners that I met my husband, Craig. We now have two beautiful daughters, both of whom have literary namesakes. It is my sincerest wish that the leadership team at MSUM resolves the university’s financial crisis.

Though I understand the English department’s move to eliminate the program, I truly hope the continued excellence of these outstanding educators: John Early, Al Davis, Lin Enger and Thom Tammaro (among countless others) do not go unnoticed.

These professionals bring an indescribable warmth and passion to the classroom, and I will forever credit them with my continued success.