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MFA Creative Writing | Rome Summer Program

Students and faculty of the Rome summer MFA program.

In May, 2014, American University's MFA program in Creative Writing announced its partnership with John Cabot University's Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. The program has been run in John Cabot's Summer Session I, typically from late May to late June, in a five week session.


Registration & Housing

The Application is free. As part of our agreement with John Cabot, our students receive a 10% discount on Tuition. Further, John Cabot provides support for students interested in Housing.



Four courses are offered in the summer program: Graduate Poetry Writing (transfers as Lit 701), Graduate Fiction Writers (transfers as Lit 700), Reading as a Writer (transfers as a graduate literature requirement), and the Art of Literary Translation (transfers as Lit 705), taught by Professor Elena Buia Rutt, the translator of Flannery O'Connor into Italian. Students may take up to 6 credits which transfer directly onto their transcripts at the end of the summer session. No petition is required. The maximum number of transfer credits for graduate students is 6: thus the program is not open to students who have already transferred six credits from another institution.


Visiting Writers & Beyond the Classroom

Edmund White with students in RomeStudents spend a week with our Writer in Residence. In 2015, the Writer in Residence was Edmund White (pictured). In 2016, the Writer in Residence was Susan Minot and Frederic Tuten, award-winning novelist and short-story writer, will be in Residence in 2017. Teachers of graduate seminars have included the poet David Keplinger, the novelist George Minot, and the novelist Elizabeth Geoghegan. Also included in the program are a host of readings, poets, novelists, essayists, and translators who are passing through or working amidst the eternal vibrancy of Rome. 

Frederic Tuten has written about art, literature and film in several periodicals including Art Forum, The New York Times, Vogue; was an actor in an Alain Resnais movie; taught with Paul Bowels in Morocco; co-wrote the cult-classic film Possession, and along the way, earned a PhD in literature, three Pushcart Prizes, an O. Henry Prize Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author of five novels: The Adventures of Mao on the Long March; Tinten in the New World; Tallein: A Brief Romance; Van Gogh's Bad Caf; The Green Hour; and a book of inter-related short stories: Self Portraits: Fictions.


John Cabot University is located in the ancient Trastevere neighborhood of Rome (see Google Maps: Trastavere), just on the banks of the Tiber River, from which its name comes. Its campus lie very near the area where Cleopatra set up her camps while in the city. Its narrow streets and shops and restaurants are well known to be the most scenic and engaging areas of the city, whose thousands of years of history will provide a stunning and evocative backdrop for your new work.

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Summer Tuition

Housing Info

AU Contact:
Prof David Keplinger