“The Unbearable Too-Whiteness” of MFA programs: Junot Díaz

by janeeatonhamilton

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I am a queer feminist author who admires the heck out of Junot Díaz’s work and who also never got an MFA–so was shielded from the fact that anyone not white and straight and male has a tough go of it in many of these programs. But I’ve experienced a lot of homophobia over my career, along with, of course, the side-lining that is ubiquitous for women writing.

Listen again to what Díaz says, folks, about racism in writing. As soon as he was published, he put together a writing workshop called The Voices of Our Nation, and now has compiled an anthology of workshop works and for which he has provided the introduction.

“…something right out of my wildest MFA dreams, where writers of colour could gather to develop our art in a safe, supportive environment. Where our ideas, critiques, concerns, our craft and, above all, our experiences would be privileged rather than marginalised; encouraged rather than ignored; discussed intelligently rather than trivialised.”

And “where our contributions were not an adjunct to Literature but its core”.

Here, as we lean hard into race relations around this globe, is the article from the Guardian, May 2014:

Junot Díaz condemns creative writing courses for ‘unbearable too-whiteness’