Summer Writing Program reading

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in
Creative Writing and Poetics

Earn your Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics from Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Here, you'll join a thriving community of fellow writers in creative risk-taking, lively critique, and engaging literary studies.

Among the country's top MFA writing programs, Naropa's MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics is unique. Our open genre approach, combined with the university's contemplative mission, allows writers to fully realize their potential as writers and literary thinkers. 

Founded in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics values not just the craft but also the spirit of writing. 

Our graduate creative writing program alumni go on to publish widely and to develop careers as professors, publishers, artistic rebels, and more.

Quick Facts

 

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COURSES YOU COULD TAKE

in Creative Writing & Poetics

Throughout your two years in the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics program, the award-winning Jack Kerouac School faculty will support you in discovering both your best creative work and your best self. 

Your graduate creative writing program curriculum will include writing workshops, poetics seminars in critical theory and queer literature, professional development in publishing and book arts, contemplative studies, and your final creative thesis. Whatever courses you take, our open-genre approach will challenge you to take radical creative risks.

Courses in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics include: 

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THE NAROPA DIFFERENCE

If you're seeking an MFA in creative writing that encourages experimentation, Naropa is the place for you. Our open-genre curriculum promotes radical creativity and instills a culture of curiosity, community, and innovation.

 

Diverse Faculty

You want an MFA creative writing program with faculty who are not only accomplished writers and teachers, but who will also encourage you to express your own lived experience. Together with program director Anne Waldman, distinguished professor and world-renowned poet and performer, our faculty include accomplished poets and writers from around the country and the world. 

To date, Naropa’s graduate creative writing program students have studied with Joy Harjo, Roberto Tejada, Layli Long Soldier, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Tongo Eisen-Martin, and other visiting faculty. Encounters with these gifted writers and performers are a hallmark of Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School.

Writing Community

In an MFA creative writing program, a supportive community of writers is essential. At Naropa, community is fostered through a culture of collaboration over competition. Our greatest concerns are not MFA in creative writing program rankings or how often and where student work is being published. Instead, we are concerned with writers discovering the full expression of their creative capacity. 

Naropa's writing community is strengthened by a rich calendar of events, including our Summer Writing Program, an annual convocation of students, poets, fiction writers, performers, and more. Beyond campus, our community extends into Boulder, a city overflowing with art and intellect.

Open Genre Curriculum

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Poetics is rooted in Naropa’s mission of contemplative education. The graduate program's approach explores revolutionary genre bending in the craft of writing, and our inclusion of poetics, unique among MFAs in creative writing, encourages exploration across genres and themes. 

Combined, these innovative aspects of Naropa's MFA program allow you to shape your own aesthetic based on personal and cultural values found in literature, in community, and within yourself. Your final thesis will reflect a vision unique to your experience. Through your writing, you'll find a path into your truest self.

 

STUDENTS, TRANSFORMED

“I knew Naropa was the right choice because of my dual values of deepening my roots in practice while growing out the limbs of my creative writing capacity and study. I also knew that this university and community would provide the perfect container for me to fulfill the purpose I feel is mine in the world.”
Heather Fester, MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics, 2017

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Superior Writing Craft

Strengthen your craft and technique in a variety of literary genres.

Foundation in Critical Theory

Clearly communicate original ideas on a variety of literary texts and topics.

Awareness of Intersectionality in the Literary Arts

Recognize and appreciate intersecting social identities in literature.

Freedom of Expression

Discover your full potential as a writer by learning to take creative risks.

Career Preparedness 

Become a published author, writing teacher, translator, or editor.

 

RELATED PROGRAMS

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN CREATIVE WRITING (LOW-RESIDENCY)

MASTER OF ARTS IN TRANSPERSONAL ART THERAPY