Writing & Poetics
Writing & Poetics—Master of Fine Arts (Residency)
The MFA in Writing & Poetics is a two-year, 49-credit in-residence degree program. Students typically enroll in 9 credit hours per semester and 8 credit hours in the Summer Writing Program (two summers required).
The program offers an open genre curriculum within a contemplative academic environment, providing MFA students maximum flexibility within the degree. Graduate students are encouraged to take classes across genres, enabling them to investigate a personal, intensely original writing process and style. We challenge the notion of safe or generic works and create a space for radical exploration and experimentation.
The Kerouac School offers specialized writing workshops that focus on innovative prose, poetry, and cross-genre composition. In addition to these workshops, students have the opportunity to broaden their scope by taking courses in publishing, letterpress printing, pedagogy, and contemplative practice. Students are able to design a curricular path that resonates with their literary and artistic goals.
In addition, students take workshops with visiting faculty in the Kerouac School’s renowned Summer Writing Program. Over 60 guests visit each year, offering our MFA graduate students occasion to be in dialogue with a community of writers. Participants work in daily contact with some of the most accomplished and provocative writers of our time, meeting individually and in small workshops.
During the thesis process, students receive on-going faculty mentorship toward the realization of the required MFA Thesis: a book-length creative manuscript with a critical research poetics essay.
The MFA in Writing & Poetics is one of the only graduate writing programs in the country that focuses explicitly on poetics in addition to creative writing. Poetics refers to a contemplative and theoretical framework for writing in any genre, creating a discourse between aesthetic praxis and the critical inquiries that prompt that practice.
- Anne Waldman and Jack Kerouac School Fellowships ($25,000 covers full tuition for first year)
- Graduate assistantships in the writing center, teaching, events, and publications, plus scholarships and awards available
- Numerous events and visiting faculty: What Where Series, JKS Symposium, Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow, Leslie Scalapino Memorial Lecture in Innovative Poetics, Embodied Poetics (collaboration with MFA Theater program), Women of Naropa Reading Series, and 4x4 Student Reading Series as well as JKS's Summer Writing Program
- Contemplative requirement in courses such as meditation, yoga, ikebana, or Contemplative Poetics
- Innovative classes including Literatures of Exile and Diaspora, Notes on Architecture, Memoir/Anti-Memoir, Women Writers Open Texts, Postmodern Prose, or Writer's Practicum with the Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow
- 9 credits of workshops
- 9 credits of literature
- 16 credits of the Summer Writing Program (workshops, lectures, readings)
- 3 credits of contemplative practice
- 3 credits of professional development
- 3 credits of elective
- 6 credits of thesis (book-length creative manuscript and critical research component under the mentorship of a faculty member)