By Writers, For Writers
Our program was built entirely by writers, to guide authors organically through the exploration of their craft and thorough preparation for a sustainable life of creation and publication. No other program nurtures a writer from line and sentence to essay, story, poetry collection or novel like ours does.
Our editing semester is a uniquely practical experience in crafting work which is both thrilling and publishable. Our gifted faculty are here because they want to launch unique, individual voices within a global dialogue; to see risks taken, new moves in language braved, and students grow into professional and artistic peers.
Come lean toward our fire and tell us your stories, poems, essays. We’re listening.
How does a low-residency program work?
We’ve made this program so that people who are unable to walk away from jobs and families and service can still become masters of their craft . . . NOW.
Over four distance-learning semesters punctuated by five week-long residencies, students will focus on their chosen genre (be it fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction) while exploring new territories of artistic expression.
Faculty meet with their students one-on-one during each residency to set plans, then work with them intensively throughout the semester providing written critiques. With a student-to-mentor ratio never greater than 5:1, students receive creative, focused, individualized feedback.
Each residency is an eight-day intensive period of workshops, seminars, readings and more, in which we explore the wide landscape of the writing life from practical tricks-of-the-trade to subtleties of conceptual nuance. Residencies take place in early January and early August, with one of every five residencies (for the program as a whole) located overseas. Our August 2014 residency was in Doolin, Ireland – our January 2017 residency will be in Jamaica.
Meet Our Faculty
Honorary Creative Writing Faculty
Carolyn Forché: Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950, poet, teacher and activist Carolyn Forché has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history. According to Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Times Book Review, Forché’s ability to wed the “political” with the “personal” places her in the company of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Philip Levine, and Denise Levertov.
Upcoming Writer in Residence
Sonnet Mondal (Kolkata, India) is the author eight books of poetry, and editor-in-chief of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review (www.theenchantingverses.org). His most recent book, Ink and Line, was co-authored with Sukrita Paul Kumar. He has read, and represented India, at festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; and Slovakia. His poetry has been translated into Hindi, Italian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Turkish, Macedonian, Bengali and Arabic, and published across Asia, Europe, and North America.
Each of our faculty members is an experienced writer and an incredible teacher of their art. Here are a few:
Essayist and writer of memoir and literary nonfiction Steven Church is the author of The Guinness Book of Me: a Memoir of Record, Theoretical Killings: Essays and Accidents, The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst, Ultrasonic: Essays, One With the Tiger: Sublime and Violent Encounters between Humans and Animals, and the collection of essays, I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part: On Work, Fear and Fatherhood. He’s also the editor of the forthcoming anthology of essays, The Spirit of Disruption: Selections from The Normal School. He is the winner of the Glenna Luschei Prize from Prairie Schooner, and received the Colorado Book Award in Creative Nonfiction for The Guinness Book of Me: A Memoir of Record.
His essays have been published and anthologized widely, including in the 2011 Best American Essays. He is a Founding Editor and Nonfiction Editor for the nationally recognized literary magazine, The Normal School; and he Coordinates the residential MFA Program at Fresno State.
Church received is MFA in Fiction from Colorado State University and his BA in philosophy from the University of Kansas. In addition to his academic positions as an adviser, adjunct instructor, and professor, he has worked as a housepainter, paperboy, grocery store clerk and bagger, fry cook, shovel and Uni-loader operator, construction laborer, tour guide (twice), maintenance man, and conflict mediator.
- BA, Political Science, California State University at Fresno
- MFA, University of Oregon
Daniel Chacón is author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms, and Loops (2013). His collection of short stories, Unending Rooms, won the 2008 Hudson Prize. He also has a novel, And the shadows took him, and another collection of stories called Chicano Chicanery. His fiction has appeared in the anthologies Latino Boom; Latino Sudden Fiction; Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge; Caliente: The Best Erotic Writing in Latin American Fiction; and Best of the West 2009: New Stories from the West Side of the Missouri. He co-edited The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Work of José Anontio Burciaga. He is also editor of Colón-ization: The Posthmous Poems of Andrés Montoya, forthcoming in 2014 from Bilingual Press and The Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame.
Chacón is recipient of The Hudson Prize, a Chris Isherwood Foundation Grant, The American Book Award, and the Peter and Jean de Main Emerging Writers Award, among others. He teaches courses in Borges, Kafka, Physics as Metaphor, and Fiction Writing workshops. He has a literary radio show called Words on a Wire (KTEP.org) which he co-hosts with Benjamin Alire Sáenz. He is also a photographer/blogger, and his work can be seen at http://www.soychacon.blogspot.com.
Faculty & Student News
MFA Faculty Lee Herrick has his book of poems, Scar and Flower, accepted to be published by Word Poetry Press in 2019.
MFA Alumni Brooke King has her memoir, Full Battle Rattle, accepted by the University of Nebraska Press and Potomac Books with a publication date of 2019.
MFA Faculty Gayle Brandeis has published two new books, The Selfless Bliss of the Body, with Finishing Line Press, and a memoir, The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide, with Beacon Press.
MFA Creative Nonfiction Writing Student, Rebecca Evans has her essay, "Harnessed," published in Gravel Literary Journal. https://www.gravelmag.com/rebecca-evans.html. Her essay, "Writing Me," is forthcoming in Fiction Southeast in 2018.
MFA Creative Nonfiction Writing Student Wendy Hill has her essay, "Archaeology," published in The Sun Magazine. https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/500/archaeology.
We want artists who will write for the rest of their lives. If you are interested in adding your voice to this transformative conversation and intrigued by the possibility of working with teachers and peers who are passionate about the art they love, then please contact us — we look forward to meeting you.