Scholarship Fund Benefit with Michael Krasny, Robert Hass, and Brenda Hillman

MFA 13th Annual Scholarship Fund Benefit.

"The Language of the Spirit"

In Conversation with Former U.S.Poet Laureate Robert Hass, Griffin Poetry Prize Winner Brenda Hillman and KQED's Michael Krasny

The 13th Annual Scholarship Benefit for the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary’s College of California presents "The Language of the Spirit" with Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s award-winning news and public affairs program Forum, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Hass and 2014 International Griffin Poetry Prize Winner and Saint Mary's English Professor Brenda Hillman. The entertaining panel discussion will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, February 28, 2015 in the Dolby Chadwick Gallery, 210 Post Street, San Francisco.

"The Language of the Spirit" is presented by the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary's, one of the most successful writing programs in the Bay Area. Founded in 1995, the MFA Program in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study that leads to a degree in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

A benefit to support scholarships for students in Saint Mary’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, attendees at the literary event will enjoy an evening of wine and hors d'oeuvres and have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including the grand prize—a week-long vacation at Villa La Quercia, a classically restored stone villa on a 155-acre estate in Tuscany that sleeps eight. Runner-up prizes a week at the luxurious Lorien Hotel and Spa nestled in Old Town Alexandria, Va., minutes away from Washington, D.C. attractions and a week in a spacious three-bedroom, two-bath home at Incline Village in Lake Tahoe, steps away from the beach.

Michael Krasny, Ph.D. is host of KQED’s award-winning news and public affairs program Forum, the nation’s most-listened-to locally produced public radio talk show. He has also served as host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation and as a frequent interviewer for the City Arts & Lectures series. Krasny is a professor of English at San Francisco State University and has published fiction, literary criticism and political commentary. He is the author of Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest and Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life and coauthor of the textbook Sound Ideas, and creator of the DVD presentation Masterpieces of Short Fiction.

Robert Hass '63 is one of the nation's most celebrated poets, a distinguished UC Berkeley professor, environmental activist, a noted translator and the author of many books of poetry and prose, most recently Time and Materials, which received the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, The Apple Trees at Olema, and the collection of essays, What Light Can Do. A Saint Mary's alumnus, Hass is also the co-founder of the River of Words program, an education initiative that integrates nature and the arts into K-12 classrooms nationwide, and the International Youth Creativity Awards, the largest youth poetry and art competition in the world.

Brenda Hillman is the author of nine full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, which received  the International Griffin Poetry Prize for 2014 and Practical Water, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for 2009. Hillman has earned many national honors for her poetry, including an Academy of American Poets Fellowship in 2012, recognition by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America. In 2010 she was named among the "Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World" by Poets and Writers. A Saint Mary's literary treasure, Hillman teaches at the College, where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry.

For more information about the MFA Program in Creative Writing, or the benefit event, visit or contact Sara Mumolo at or (925) 631-8556.