About the Program
The MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics is a two-year, 48-credit graduate degree. Students typically enroll in 9 credit hours per semester and 12 credit hours in the Summer Writing Program (over two summers).
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.
- 9 credits of writing workshops
- 9 credits of poetics seminars
- 12 credits of the Summer Writing Program (workshops, lectures, readings)
- 3 credits of contemplative practice
- 3 credits of professional development (teaching or publishing)
- 6 credits of electives (workshops, interdisciplinary courses, etc.)
- 6 credits of thesis (faculty mentorship on book-length creative manuscript and critical research poetics essay)
After completing WRI700: Writing Pedagogy Seminar (offered each fall), graduate students can apply to teach Writing Seminar I (expository and critical writing), Writing Seminar II (research writing), Creative Writing and Literature (poetry and prose workshop), or SWP BA workshops (creative writing).
Writing Fellow / Naropa Writing Center
Graduate students can apply to work in the Naropa Writing Center, consulting graduate and undergraduate Naropa students on the writing process (while simultaneously completing WRI700: Writing Pedagogy Seminar).
Project Outreach Instructors
Project Outreach places students in local schools and other institutions to lead creative writing workshops. Both BA and MFA students can receive course credit while developing their teaching skills for the benefit of the larger community. Project Outreach is offered every academic year as an elective course and offers students the unique opportunity to go out into the world as literary activists, sharpening and extending their own pedagogical abilities.
Bombay Gin, the student run literary journal of the Kerouac School, publishes poetry, prose, hybrid writing, translations, reviews, interviews, and visual art. It's published annually and distributed nationally through Small Press Distribution.
Something on Paper is an online poetics journal of scholarly utterance and conversation, archiving the critical work of the Jack Kerouac School as well as engaging with a broader community of writers, critics, and pedagogues. Each issue hosts cutting-edge literary/multimedia discourse and performs the liminal space between critical and creative texts.
not enough night, the online literary journal of the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program, is edited by faculty members. The journal's title comes from Jack Kerouac, "Not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night."
Jack Kerouac School blog celebrates students, alumni, faculty, and staff by announcing news on publications, projects, and events. The Jack Kerouac School welcomes articles and news from students.
The Harry Smith Print Shop and Kavyayantra Press (from Sanskrit: Kavya: poetry; Yantra: device, amulet) are resources for learning about fine craft letterpress printing. It features a Chandler and Price platen press and a Vandercook SP-15 proof press.
Naropa Audio Archive Collection: The audio archive is a growing and dynamic database that is a significant resource for students and represents several generations of writers, philosophers, and artists. Each issue of Bombay Gin highlights a transcribed selection.
Summer Writing Program Magazine: The student editors of the magazine have the unique opportunity to oversee all aspects of producing the journal, from editing, layout, production, and distribution. All students, faculty, and staff attending the SWP may contribute work.
Student Magazines: Students and alumni have started their own presses such as Monkey Puzzle, Fact-Simile, Belladonna, Bootstrap, Hot Whiskey, Farfalla, con/crescent, Linchpin, Smokeproof, and more. The Kerouac School supports and encourages students to start their own presses.
In addition to our core faculty, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics invites more than sixty guest faculty members and writers each year, including the Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow, the Leslie Scalapino Lecturer in Innovative Poetics, What Where Series, and the Jack Kerouac School Spring Symposium. These events foster an intensely creative environment for students to develop their writing projects in conversation with a community of writers.
Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Persons with questions about accessibility or who require disability accommodations should contact Kristin Bohan, 303-245-4637, at least two weeks prior to the event
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: @KerouacSchool
Upcoming & Recent Guests—Until Further Notice, All Events Will Be Virtual
*all events are in Mountain Time*
Please visit Eventbrite to register for upcoming events.
What Where Series Fall 2020
- September 22 feat. Susan Briante, Luciá Hinojosa, & MFA candidate Bill Shultz
- October 6 feat. Lara Mimosa Montes; Kirun Kapur; & MFA Candidate Madeline Hernandez
- November 10 feat. Marwa Helal; Xandria Phillips; & MFA candidate Konstantin Kulakov
- December 1 feat. Angel Dominguez; Jake Skeets; & MFA candidate Aubrey Gates King
Previous What Where Series
- Harmony Holiday, Catherine Taylor, Brandon Shimoda, Tess Brown-Lavoie
- Nicolas Gulig, Mariko Nagai, Phillip B. Williams, Brian Blanchfield
- Janice Lee, Erik Anderson, Duriel E. Harris, Jennifer K. Dick
- Gabrielle Civil, Amy Wright, Eugene Lim, Muriel Leung
- Camille Dungy, Lydia Yuknvitch, Danielle Pafunda, Carolina Ebeid
- Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi, Michael Friedman, Raza Ali Hasan
- Cody-Rose Clevidence, Lisa Birman, Dan Beachy-Quick
- Tina Brown Celona, Bin Ramke, and Miranda Mellis
- Janice Gould, Kurt Gutjahr, and Rachel Levitsky
- Teresa Carmody, HR Hegnauer, and CAConrad
- Maureen Owen, Stephen Graham Jones, and TC Tolbert
- Ruth Ellen Kocher, Reed Bye, and Megan Kaminski
- Amina Cain, Jai Arun Ravine, and Lisa Linn Kanae
- John Keene, Laura Mullen, and Carmen Gimenez Smith
- Mark Amerika, J'Lyn Chapman, and Michael du Plessis
- Lily Hoang, J Michael Martinez, and Idris Goodwin
- Eric Baus, Joanna Ruocco, and Lidia Yuknavitch
- Chris Pusateri, Serena Chopra, and Khadijah Queen
Kerouac School For Change
100K Poets For Change Global Event -- Save Innisfree! w/ Bombay Gin Literary Journal
- canceled due to COVID19-
Naropa Writing Center 20th Anniversary
- canceled due to COVID19-
Feat. Caren Beilin, Trisha Low, Stephanie Young, Logan Fry
Friday, October 16, 2020 // 7:00 p.m. // via Zoom: please e-mail email@example.com for zoom link to this reading!
Front Range 5x5 MFA Reading Series no.1
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 // 7:00 p.m. // via Zoom: please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link to this reading!
NU - Naropa - Amy Bobeda
CSU - Ft. Collins
DU - Denver
CU - Boulder
UW - Wyoming
*series no. 3,4,5 TBA
Lecture and Reading by Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow
Visiting Fellow: Cedar Sigo
February 8, 2021 // 7:00 p.m. // please register for zoom info here.
Previous Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellows
- Brian Teare
- Juliana Spahr
- Fred Moten
- Rosa Alcalá
- Kevin Killian
- Lisa Robertson
- Harryette Mullen
- Alice Notley
- Lyn Hejinian
Front Range 5x5 MFA Reading Series no.2
Tuesday, February 19, 2020 // Time: 7pm MST // via zoom: 861.1427.7720 (e-mail email@example.com for pw)
NU - Naropa - Lester Mayers
CSU - Ft. Collins
DU - Denver (host) -
CU - Boulder
UW - Wyoming
*series no.3,4,5 TBA
Bombay Gin Contributor Reading
February 27, 2021 //Noon // via Zoom: please register!
feat. Amber Ridenour, Ava Hofman, Ada McCartney, Arthur Allen, Lysbeth Benkert, Nina Bisbano, Maria DeGuzman, Chase Dimock, Massimo Fantuzzi, Jodie Filan, Hugh Findlay, Thomas Frank, Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola, Heikki Huotari, Lily Kosmicki, Adrian Lurssen, Alysse Kathleen McCanna, danielle moles, Annyston Pennington, Dominique K. Pierce, Hannah Rubin, Linda Saccoccio, Jonathan Simkins, Tika Simone, Kelly Weber
2021 Spring Symposium, "Translation as Experiment": Leslie Scalapino Lecturer in Innovative Poetics
feat. Erín Moure
March 15 2021 // Time: 7:00 p.m. // via Zoom: TBA
2021 Spring Symposium, "Translation as Experiment": Panel
March 16, 2021 // 11:00 a.m. // via Zoom: TBA
2021 Spring Symposium, "Translation as Experiment": Sons & Daughters of Buddha
feat. Andrew Schelling & Anne Waldman
March 16, 2021 // 2:00 p.m. // via zoom: TBA
2021 Spring Symposium, "Translation as Experiment": Reading
feat. Erín Moure, Johannes Göransson, Sawako Nakayasu, Jen Hofer, Anna Moschovakis, Mihret Kebede
March 16, 2021 // 7:00 p.m. // via Zoom: TBA
- Diaspora & Poesis: Christina Rivera Garza, Asiya Wadud, Zaina Alsous, Trinh T. Mih-ha
- Writing in Emergent & Expanded Fields: Mike LaLa, angela rawlings, Jonah Mixon Webster, Cecilia Vicuña
- Embodied Poetics & Performance: Divya Victor, Rickey Laurentiis, Jordan Scott, Julia Carr
- I / Not I: Symposium on Identity Poetics: Kazim Ali, Ana Merino, Ronaldo Wilson, Dorothy Wang
- Queer Poetics 2014: Ana Bozicevic, Trace Peterson, Teresa Carmody, and Lucas de Lima
- Territory 2013: Kass Fleisher, Sueyeun Juliette Lee,Craig Santos Perez, and Juliana Spahr
- Violence and Community 2012: David Buuck, Melissa Buzzeo, Gabrielle Civil, Kate Zambreno
- Frederick P. Lenz Distinguished Lecturer in American Buddhism: Gary Snyder
Women of Naropa celebrates Poetry Month
Naropa Writing Center Reading
April 22, 2021 // 6:00 p.m. // via Zoom
2021 BA/MFA Graduation Reading
Friday, May 14, 2021 // via Zoom
BA from 5:00–6:00 p.m. //MFA from 7:00–9:30 p.m. Reception following each.
Wondering what community events are happening throughout the year at Naropa University? There's a calendar for that.
Summer Writing Program
2021: Carrier Waves vol.2 - ONLINE - Naropa Credit Students Only!
June 13-July 3 // Performing Arts Center // Arapahoe Campus // 2130 Arapahoe Ave
send us an e-mail t swp[at]naropa[dot]edu for SWP inquiries
Summer Writing Program Staff:
Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997); Beloved Spirit, Co-Founder
Anne Waldman; Artistic Director, Co-Founder
Jeffrey Pethybridge, Managing Director
Caroline 'Swanee' Swanson, Coordinator
- Students demonstrate skill in writing as a creative art.
- Students critically analyze literary works.
- Students engage writing as a contemplative mode of inquiry.
- Students demonstrate the role of intersectionality in the literary arts.
- Students generate a professional dossier.