Creative Writing at The New School

The fifth annual Paul Violi Prize in Poetry has been awarded to New School MFA in Creative Writing student Mariam Zafar. The second-place winner is Timothy Baker, and honorable mention goes to Zachary Lutz. Each will receive a cash prize and be recognized at the MFA in Creative Writing commencement ceremony.

The prize, which is awarded annually to a second-year MFA Poetry candidate, was founded in 2011 in remembrance of Paul Violi. Violi was not only an esteemed and influential poet but a dedicated and caring teacher. He taught at The New School for many years before his passing in 2011. The Paul Violi Prize was established by Violi’s friends and family, who raised funds for an annual poetry award to be given to exceptional students in his honor.


Mariam Zafar headshot

Mariam Zafar is a Pakistani-American writer pursuing her MFA in Poetry at The New School. A desert dweller at heart, she writes between Miami, Dubai, and New York City. Her poetry is forthcoming in Bird's Thumb and The Ink & Code. When she's not working on her collection of poems, you will find her scavenging for the best cup of chai in town.


Tim BakerTim Baker is an MFA candidate in Poetry at The New School based in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in the Coachella Review and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, and his prose work has appeared in articles for Newsweek Special Editions, TV Guide, and CBS Watch!, among other publications. He is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York.


ZachZachary Lutz is a writer in Brooklyn. He is an MFA candidate at The New School and an ex-Ohioan.

About The Author

Founded in Greenwich Village in 1931, Creative Writing at The New School continues to promote, engender, and shape innovative literature.