SWP Reading

Creative Writing (Low-Residency)

Experiment with language and work with faculty who are active, published writers.

Accepting Applications for Summer 2020

Founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman in 1974, Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics houses one of the most storied creative writing programs in the country. Students in this distance learning, low residency program study the contemplative, avant-garde, and social roots of writing, mentored by and working alongside currently active, published writers.

The Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a two-year correspondence program running in Summer-Fall-Spring semesters over each of the two years of the program and conducted primarily through written exchange of work and response between student and instructor. Faculty in the MFA in Creative Writing program are active, published writers accomplished at mentoring students individually.

Weekend (Friday-Saturday-Sunday) residencies will take place in the fall and spring semesters, while the summer residency is a full week in June, integrated within the Jack Kerouac School's renowned Summer Writing Program. Here students attend workshops, lectures, panels, and readings by numerous visiting writers. Each spring and fall residency will feature an accomplished guest writer in addition to workshops and events with the semester’s faculty instructor.

CAConrad - Jack Kerouac School Faculty

Study with Active Writers

"Naropa is a place that's going to teach you how to see the creative viability in the world around you, to keep writing. This isn't just a normal, regular, sit in a circle and and talk about your poems, this is a place for you come to, to understand the value of creativity to help change this world."

— CAConrad
Poet, Author, Jack Kerouac School Summer Writing Program Faculty

Find out more


Highlights of the Low-Residency Creative Writing Program

  1. Two-year degree with 14 days of residency per year in Boulder, CO
  2. Open-genre curriculum reflecting Jack Kerouac School history and our ongoing commitment to innovative writing
  3. One-on-one mentorship with accomplished faculty
  4. Emphasis on development of contemplative attention and writing practices
  5. Participation in the Summer Writing Program as summer semester residency
  6. Faculty mentorship in preparing the final creative thesis
  7. Cohort model developing a sense of community among MFA students


Program Learning Outcomes

  • 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 document for their professional dossier.


Amiri Baraka

Listen to Faculty

Dramatist, novelist and poet Amiri Baraka has been a vital, fiery contributor to Naropa since its inception. Baraka held court at Naropa in 1994, where he gave a lecture about Revolutionary Poetry to a rapt audience of MFA Creative Writing and Poetics students. We've got the entire lecture available on Naropa's Audio Archive.

listen to the entire lecture

The Summer Writing Program

Immerse yourself in the environment of exploratory poetics that is the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics’ Summer Writing Program. An integral part of your graduate experience, this four-week-long colloquium brings more than fifty outrider artists, writers, and thinkers to Naropa to offer workshops, lectures, panels, classes, performances, and meditation sessions. Recent summer faculty include Samuel R. Delany, Claudia Rankine, Cecilia Vicuña, Charles Bernstein, Mei-mei Bersenbrugge, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Clark Coolidge, and Anne Carson.



Naropa University is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).