Another creative writing program - maybe you're thinking, just what the world needs.
Yes, it does. North Carolina A&T State University, where I teach, will now have a creative writing concentration in English, just approved along with one in African-American Literature.
A&T is an HBCU - for folks outside the academic world, Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It has a long tradition of educating black scholars when they were turned away from segregated institutions, and still has a predominantly African-American student body.
So why the big deal about creative writing?
At least from my understanding, there are maybe a couple of HBCUs currently offering creative writing. That's too few. I see the creativity of A&T students in my fiction class, in spoken word sessions - but also in journalism, the performing arts, and in "the yard" with impromptu rapping and singing. The talent is there, and creative writing is one more channel.
Our program, headed by Dr. Anjail Ahmad, will feature classes on spoken word performance as well as written work, and a special feature will be a service learning opportunity to bring literature to people in the community.
We're just getting started - tune in as the Creative Writing program becomes another of A&T's leading lights.