MFA in Poetry

The greatest evidence of success in Fresno State's MFA Program over the past decade is in the success of our students, and our poetry graduates have been exceptional.

Several of our graduating poets have won or been named Honorable Mention in the university's Outstanding Thesis Award contest; and three recent poetry graduates — Sasha Pimentel Chacon, James Tyner, and Burlee Vang — have each published their first collections of poems. In 2010, Burlee's book, The Dead I Know, was released from Swan Scythe Press; James's chapbook, The Ghetto Exorcist, was released from Autumn Hill Press; and Sasha's book, Insides She Swallowed, released in 2009 from West End Press, won the American Book Award.

These recent graduates, of course, follow multiple generations of accomplished poets from our program, dating back to the late 1950s and the earliest days of the late professor emeritus Philip Levine. The public radio program Here & Now recently asked: Why is Fresno the Land of Poets? Anthologies such as How Much Earth: The Fresno Poets would suggest that poets grow and flourish here.