Our Chair’s Welcome

El Paso-Juarez is a locale where the Americas meet. Our university is located in the center of a unique ecotone where elements of U.S. culture connect and mix with elements of Mexican culture, creating a vibrant social and political environment that enriches the intellectual and imaginative lives of our students. Taking advantage of our geographic and cultural space, we have developed a unique graduate Creative Writing Program that is bilingual in nature and seeks to include the many literary traditions of the Americas as the foundation for our students’ literary development. Our program seeks to bring together talented young writers from all over the Americas in order to be a catalyst in the production of a future literature that will remind us that we all speak a common language.

Bienvenida de nuestro Jefe de Departamento

La región de El Paso-Juarez es el punto de encuentro de las Américas. Nuestra universidad está ubicada en el centro de una singular zona de contacto donde los elementos de la cultura de los Estados Unidos se mezclan con los elementos de la cultura de México, creando un vibrante ambiente cultural y político que enriquece la vida intelectual y la imaginación de nuestros estudiantes. Aprovechando las ventajas de nuestro espacio geográfico y cultural, hemos creado un singular Programa de Creación Literaria bilingüe cuya meta es incluir las diversas tradiciones de las Américas como la base del desarrollo literario de nuestros estudiantes. Nuestro programa aspira ser el catalizador donde los nuevos escritores de las Américas escriban la literatura del futuro que nos recuerde que hablamos una misma lengua.

Latest News

Juana Moriel, former student in our Bilingual MFA in Creative Writing, has been awarded the Southwest Book Award for her novel Trigueña, which she wrote while in our program. Congratulations, Juana!

The short story collection Nenitas by Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny was selected by Marvin as one of the ten best books published in 2013 in Mexico.

The poem Amante del Viento–Lover of the Wind by MFA candidate Riley H. Welcker was accepted for publication in Blast Furnace.

The short story "My Star" by our graduate student Riley Welcker will be published in Mandala, the literary journal of the University of Georgia's Institute for African American Studies, in its 2013 issue. Congratulations, Riley!

Our chair wins three literary awards. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, the most recent novel published by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Chair of the Department of Creative Writing, has been awarded: The Pura Belpré Award, The Stonewall Book Award, and Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Congratulations Ben!

Former MFA student wins major literary award. Betina González, a graduate from our Bilingual MFA in Creative Writing, has won the “VIII Premio Tusquets Editores de Novela” with her novel Las poseídas. Betina also won the “Premio Clarín de Novela” in 2006 with her MFA thesis Arte Menor. Congratulations, Betina!

MFA students is awarded a major grant. Sylvia Aguilar, a third year student in our Bilingual MFA in Creative Writing, has won a grant from the Instituto Sonorense de Cultura (MX) that will allow her to work on a novel over the course of a year. Well deserved, Sylvia!

New MFA student publications: Former MFA student Laura Cesarco Eglin’s book Tailor Shop: Threads, a translation into English of her book of poems Sastrería (Yaugurú 2011), will be published in late February by Finishing Line Press. Congratulations Laura!

New MFA student publications: Yasmin Ramirez, MFA candidate, was featured in cc&d Magazine (June 2012) with short story Drum Beats. The story will also appear in a book length collection, The Mission.

Words on a Wire on iTunes: Words on a Wire, a weekly show hosted by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and Daniel Chacón, is now available on iTunes. Listen to Words on a Wire on KTEP 88.5 FM every Sunday at 11:30 a.m.