The Institute of American Indian Arts will launch its first graduate program this summer. The Masters of Fine Arts degree in creative writing will be the first program of it’s kind at any tribal college in the nation.
The two-year program will focus heavily on writing in a number of genres, and the Institute of American Indian Arts, or IAIA, says there are nearly 30 candidates admitted for the program, which officially opens at the end of July.
John Davis is director of the low residency Creative Writing program. He says students that have graduated from IAIA in the past, often go onto other MFA programs where they can often find themselves alone.
“Here the other writers will be 75% native writers, so there’ll be a totally different kind of atmosphere, it’ll kind of be ownership of the program,” says Davis. “I think this is going to change the landscape of literature. I think, that small shelf of books by native authors is going to become a very large shelf of books by native authors.”
Davis says the programs instructors include Authors Joseph Boyden, Susan Power, Sherman Alexie and Natalie Diaz, as well as IAIA alumni.