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Due to its location in New York City, home to an important and diverse Latino and Latin American community, NYU is uniquely situated to offer a graduate Creative Writing Program in Spanish. New York has been a meeting point for Spanish and Latin American writers and journalists since the 19th century and a home to many of them. José Martí (Cuba), Gabriela Mistral (Chile), Federico García Lorca (Spain), Julia de Burgos (Puerto Rico), Francisco Ayala (Spain), Pedro Pietri (Puerto Rico) Manuel Ramos Otero (Puerto Rico), Manuel Puig (Argentina) and Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba), among many others, have in the past either settled in New York or spent extended periods of time there.

The end of the 20th century has seen this community of writers grow considerably both in visibility and cultural significance. Nowadays many Spanish and Latin American writers, such as Carmen Boullosa (Mexico), Cecilia Vicuña (Chile), Eduardo Lago (Spain), Mercedes Roffé (Argentina), Carmen Valle (Puerto Rico), and Roger Santiváñez (Peru) make of New York their temporary or permanent home.