Master of Fine Arts in Fiction and Poetry

Signature Seminars

In addition to graduate workshops in poetry and fiction, our MFA in Creative Writing offers a diverse range of practices and approaches to exploration, generation, collaboration and the installation of prose and poetry on and off the page. Below are a few of our graduate faculty signature seminars.

Omnivorous Fiction with Jane Alison (Teaching Statement)

Taking as a starting point the omnivorous nature of longer fiction, which has fed upon drama, letters, painting, film, fairytale, music, and historic and scientific discourse, this class will explore different patterns you might consider in developing your own work. We'll look at a range of approaches: from the dramatic novel to juxtaposed narratives, from highly lyrical fiction to encyclopedic, from metafiction to historic. We’ll pay particular attention to ways that fictions in disparate forms create movement, deploy point of view, manipulate time, move among narrative techniques, and press syntax into serving vision.

Close Companions with A. Manette Ansay (Teaching Statement)

Close Companions will focus on pairings of novels inspired by other novels. We’ll consider the implications of these self-sought, self-wrought relationships in practical terms, isolating techniques we can assimilate into our own creative processes. Discussions will be craft-based and pragmatically-oriented, addressing issues arising from the on-going challenges we face as writers in general and novelists in particular. Our goal will be an evolving analysis of the differences between imitation and invention, and the ways in which we, ourselves, might look to mentoring books for inspiration, honoring an existing structural template while retaining voices and visions we can unapologetically call our own.

The Shape and Substance of Books with M. Evelina Galang
(Teaching Statement)

This course focuses on how structure reflects and deepens content, often pushing story and theme forward. Similarly, the course examines how substance shapes the body of the book, gives direction and order to chapters and stories. Students also consider their own writing, exploring how thematic obsessions determine the structure and define the order in their books. This is a valuable exploration for students in the final stages of their long projects.

Fiction Graduate Seminar with Lester Goran (Teaching Statement

In the courses I teach on a graduate level in fiction, I try to introduce the idea that the writer in the ideal should attempt to read his or her own work or that of other writers as a writer, not as a critic, a book reviewer or a teacher of texts.

Literary Collage and Collaboration with Maureen Seaton (Teaching Statement)

As creative tools, literary collage and collaboration encourage an expansive ideology, a vigorous consciousness of disparate cultures on one soil. They're also disarmingly fun, even seditious, making them poetically invaluable. I incorporate the techniques into all my undergraduate and graduate workshops. My signature grad course explores these impulses in depth.