About the Field Studies Program
The Field Studies in Writing Program on Grand Manan brings students from the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona to an island in the Bay of Fundy over the course of five summers (2015-2020).The pilot program, made possible by the appointment of Professor Alison Hawthorne Deming as Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice, brings MFA students from the Sonoran Desert town of Tucson to Grand Manan Island in the Canadian Maritimes for two weeks. On the island students work on research and writing that explores how the arts and literature can contribute to our understanding of climate change. With a population of 2500, Grand Manan has a 200-year history of traditional fisheries, now undergoing profound changes due to decline of fish–and recently a dramatic increase in lobsters—in the North Atlantic. The project engages with island youth and UA students mentor them in telling their stories of coming of age in this place where sustainability of the local culture is deeply tied to the sustainability of marine life.