I wanted to share some news with you about some professional changes in my life. Here’s the short version:
- Effective today I have stepped down as director of the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing program.
- I’m thrilled to announce that SPU has hired Scott Cairns as the new MFA director.
- This academic year I will be Senior Fellow at the Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture at Seattle University.
For those of you interested in a little background:
Founding the SPU MFA program and directing it for the past eleven years have provided me with some of the greatest joys of my life. I’ve loved the passion for excellence in craft and vision that characterize the program as well as the camaraderie and joy that have made it such a special environment. I’m incredibly proud of our faculty, past and present, and our wonderfully prolific and talented alumni.
My greatest priorities right now are to continue to care for the well-being of Image, devoting more attention to my literary imprint, Slant, and the chance to get a little more writing done—perhaps even a book or two.
Knowing that the SPU MFA was on an extremely firm footing and that I would be able to hire someone of Scott Cairns’s stature to replace me, I realized that the time was right to make a move. The cherry on top for me is that I’ll be able to teach an occasional seminar for the MFA, allowing me to stay close to a program that I love—and a university (SPU) that has been so supportive of my work.
Another development that made this change possible was an incredible opportunity to work with the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at Seattle University. The ICTC is a young but dynamic center whose mission is “to renew the Catholic intellectual tradition of engagement at the crossroads where faith and reason, religion and culture, church and world meet—through academic research, reflection, and conversation.”
While I am Senior Fellow at ICTC I will be helping with programming in the area of the arts and humanities and in the Institute’s strategic planning process. But this position also frees me to do more writing.
I’m truly delighted to be able to work within a Jesuit university—a tradition that has meant a great deal to my own spiritual and intellectual development.
My gratitude to all those at these institutions, including the Image board, who have contributed to the flourishing of my vocation.