In honor of the late founding director of the Bennington Writing Seminars, this annual prize is endowed by Ed Ochester, to whom we give great thanks. Dana Russo, a June 2012 Poetry Graduate, was the inaugural winner.
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The work of our faculty is among the best creative work being published today. But don’t take our word for it. Each year, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases its “Best American Series," showcasing the finest short stories, poems, and essays published in North America from the previous year. Many of our core faculty members have been included in (or guest edited) this prestigious anthology and others. Here’s a sampling.
In its 2007 fiction issue, The Atlantic published a guide to the nation's best graduate programs in creative writing: The Bennington Writing Seminars was distinguished as one of the top five low-residency MFA programs.
Writers who have taught at Bennington include, among others, Bernard Malamud, W.H. Auden, Stanley Kunitz, Theodore Roethke, Kenneth Burke, John Gardner, Jamaica Kincaid, Howard Nemerov, Edward Hoagland, and Mary Oliver. For more than 20 years prior to the formation of the Seminars, Bennington hosted the Bennington Summer Writing Workshops, where more than 250 writers, such as John Cheever, John Ashbery, Grace Paley, Donald Barthelme, John Irving, and many others formed part of the long tradition of writers and literature at Bennington.