Reading List

The MFA Comprehensive Exam requires students to write three essays: two in the primary and one in the secondary genre. For the exam you should be prepared to cite approximately 8 works in the primary (approximately 4 per essay) and 4 works in the secondary. In order to be prepared for a variety of essay prompts, students should read widely in both genres—certainly more than the 12 works from the reading lists you will cite on your exam, perhaps 35-50 works or authors. In consultation with their thesis directors, students will devise a personalized list consisting of selections from the lists below as well as additional works of comparable literary quality that they find pertinent to their writing and/or scholarship.

You will confer with your adviser several times during the semester prior to taking the exam to develop your final version of your reading list. Only works on this personalized, advisor-approved list may be cited on the exam.