Poetry is a powerful medium used to speak effectively to the present moment while acknowledging the past. Whether you want to hone your craft for personal or professional reasons, a mastery of poetry opens doors to a variety of creative opportunities.
Master modern and traditional poetic art forms.
Western’s MFA and M.A. in Poetry program cultivates poets who feel compelled to craft work that is relevant to the present times and speaks to current events. In the program, you’ll study contemporary poetry and learn to write in the freer forms that are widespread today, while also learning the history of traditional poetic forms. Through intensive coursework and expert guidance from faculty, you’ll hone your skills for writing cutting-edge poems, while gaining a comprehensive understanding of notable poets of the past.
Kevin O’Shea reads from his poetry thesis for a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Western.
At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.
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Achieve your personal and professional goals.
Western’s MFA and M.A. in Poetry is a low-residency program, meaning faculty and students interact online during the academic year and gather for two weeks in July on campus for classes, lectures and writing.
- MFA students attend three summer residencies: one prior to the first semester, one between years one and two and one in the third summer.
- During the academic year, full-time MFA students take two courses each semester. These six-credit courses make use of videoconferencing and Canvas for online work.
- To complete the MFA, students work on a thesis throughout their final year.
- M.A. students pursue an identical curriculum to MFA students, but only come for two summers and one academic year and they do not write a thesis.
Lessons from the past
Poetry students not only study contemporary poetry and learn to write in the freer forms that are widespread today but also study the history of their art and master traditional poetic forms.
Opportunities and Partnerships
- Students have the opportunity to get experience in the world of publishing by working with “THINK: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction, Essays, and Reviews.”
- Students and alumni are invited to give readings at the Gunnison Valley Poetry Festival, held in late summer, and at other public events during the year.
- Students are able to take a course from the program’s other concentrations: Genre Fiction, Screenwriting for Film and Television, Nature Writing and Publishing.
- Many students add a second concentration to their degrees, allowing for unique combination degrees, such as Poetry and Nature Writing or Poetry and Publishing.
A student performs during the Martin Luther King Jr. Open Mic, hosted by WordHorde and the Black Student Alliance.
Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 117
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Gunnison, CO 81231