Poetry

Master of Arts in Creative Writing

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Department

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

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.

Program Overview

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.

Cultivating poets

Kevin O’Shea reads from his poetry thesis for a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Western.

Courses

Code Title Credits Description
CRWR 600 Summer Orientation 1 View
CRWR 646 Narrative Poetry 6 View
CRWR 647 Dramatic Poetry and Satiric Verse 6 View
CRWR 653 Poetry Book Reviewing/ Poetry, Literacy, Pedagogy 6 View
CRWR 694 Capstone 1-3 View

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

News & Research

Nature Writing MFA names new director

Nature Writing MFA names new director

Read More
New York Times publishes op-ed by Western’s Genre Fiction Director

New York Times publishes op-ed by Western’s Genre Fiction Director

Read More
Western Announces New Director of Genre Fiction

Western Announces New Director of Genre Fiction

Read More
Western announces new Nature Writing MFA

Western announces new Nature Writing MFA

Read More
BSA hosts Black History Month cultural events, featuring poet Kai Davis

BSA hosts Black History Month cultural events, featuring poet Kai Davis

Read More

The Program

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 Blackboard 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.

Rhythmical creations

A student performs during the Martin Luther King Jr. Open Mic, hosted by WordHorde and the Black Student Alliance.

Department Information

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Director

Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.

Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Office Support Coordinator

Michelle Wilk

Program Support Coordinator

Contact Information

970.943.2163

rbingham@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 117
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231