About the Program

The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing at Naropa University is a rigorous, generative, two-year program with 4 writing residencies in beautiful Boulder Colorado. 

Spring and Fall Residencies run from Saturday through Tuesday during the Spring and Fall JKS Symposiums. A 4-day residency schedule includes:

  • Opening brunch with faculty and Low-Res peers.
  • Master class and lecture with visiting writer.
  • One-on-one meetings with professors.
  • Dharma Arts workshop and contemplative practices.
  • Symposium panel, craft lectures, and readings by faculty and guest writers.
  • Time to connect with peers and explore Boulder, CO. 

Summer residency immerses writers in a full week of the Jack Kerouac School’s world-renowned Summer Writing Program. Here, students attend workshops, lectures, panels, and readings by numerous visiting writers to hone their craft, make connections, speak on student panels, and prepare for the next step in their writing career.

Highlights of the Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing Program

Unlike other Low-Residency MFAs, our program features a contemplative, cross-genre curriculum to push writers to cultivate their unique and authentic voices, styles, and forms. Highlights of our Low-Residency program include:

  1. Open-genre curriculum reflecting Jack Kerouac School’s history of innovative, experimental, cross-genre work. 
  2. One-on-one mentorship with accomplished faculty each semester.
  3. Deepening creative work through contemplative and embodied writing practices.
  4. Participation in the Summer Writing Program, an experimental literary festival and workshop event. 
  5. Enriching on-site residencies in Boulder CO each spring and fall. 
  6. One-on-one creative thesis mentorship.
  7. A cohort of writing peers to deepen connection and community without leaving home. 


At The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, our MFA students value contemplative practice, critical inquiry, and experimental forms. Whether they’re writing alongside the Naropa Archive or developing hybrid texts, Naropa’s lineage and commitment to experimental writing support them every step of the way. 

A Low-Residency MFA Summer Program Like No Other

Immerse yourself in the renowned Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics’ Summer Writing Program. Writers from around the world gather each summer on our Boulder campus for workshops, artist talks, panels, readings, and community. This summer festival helps writers across programs generate new work, experiment with forms, and connect with other writers and artists. Writers meet small presses, develop new projects and learn letterpress techniques in the Harry Smith Print Shop as well as audio recording in our state-of-the-art recording studio with guest artists from Fast Speaking Music

Recent summer faculty include Joyelle McSweeney, Tongo-Eisen Marin, Ariana Reines, Orlando White, Kazim Ali, Claudia Rankine, Cecilia Vicuña, Charles Bernstein, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Clark Coolidge, and Anne Carson.

Questions? Contact us at jks@naropa.edu or admissions@naropa.edu.

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

Olivia Phipps headshot


with your counselor

Olivia Phipps

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Professional Development Opportunities for MFA Writers

The Low-Residency Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts mirrors and supports the lives of professional writers. Unlike other online creative writing MFAs, our low-residency program balances community engagement with time to write alongside professional development opportunities. Whether a student plans to teach, write, edit, or work in publishing, our low-residency program provides the time they need to write alongside a vibrant and supportive writing community. Professional development and funding opportunities for Low-Res MFA candidates include:

WP Graduate Instructor

The graduate instructor position offers graduate students an opportunity to design and teach a writing workshop. Due to the fluctuating weekly populations of undergraduate students during the Summer Writing Program, graduate instructors have the unique challenge of creating a weekly workshop that can accommodate both students taking the program for one week or for all four weeks. There are 2 positions available, depending on the number of BA students who enroll.

Faculty Liaison

This position involves assisting Summer Writing Program faculty members. This is a unique opportunity to work closely with visiting writers throughout the summer.

MFA Guest Lecturer

MFA students are eligible to serve as a lecturer during the Summer Writing Program, developing curriculum that aligns with the festival’s themes. 

SWP Panelists

The Summer Writing Program provides students the opportunity to present as part of a panel discussion to share their research and creative interests alongside other writers. 

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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