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:
- MFA, City University of New York
Sunil Yapa’s first novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the Seattle World Trade Organization protests of November 1999, is this year’s Common Read and a 2016 Time Magazine Best Books of the Year, an Amazon 2016 Best Books of the year, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and an Indies Next Pick.
“Yapa’s melding of fact and fiction, human frailty and geopolitics, is a genuine tour-de-force.”
– The Seattle Times
The winner of the 2010 Asian American short story award, Yapa’s work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, The Margins, Hyphen Magazine, The Tottenville Review, Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification, and others. The biracial son of a father from Sri Lanka and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived in The Netherlands, Thailand, Greece, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City.
- BA, Writing & Literature, Naropa University
- MFA, Bennington College
Tim Z. Hernandez is an award winning author and performance artist. His debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax (Heyday Books, 2004) received the 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation, and the Zora Neal Hurston Award for writers of color dedicated to their communities. His debut novel, Breathing, In Dust (Texas Tech University Press 2010) was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, received the 2010 Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was a finalist for the 2010 California Book Award.
In 2011 the Poetry Society of America named him one of sixteen New American Poets, and he was one of four finalists for the inaugural Freedom Plow Award from the Split This Rock Foundation for his work on locating the victims of the plane wreck at Los Gatos. His second collection of poetry, Natural Takeover of Small Things, and his novel of historical fiction, Mañana Means Heaven, based on the life of Bea Franco, were released in 2013 with the University of Arizona Press.
As a performer he has collaborated with Grammy Award winning classical composer Eugene Freisen, and in 2001 was commissioned by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to write and perform an original play on homelessness. Since 2007 he has worked with Poets & Writers Inc. and the California Center for the Book at UCLA teaching poetry, fiction, and non-fiction workshops across the west coast. He is the state-wide coordinator for Writers-in-the-Schools (Colorado), which focuses on rural under-served communities, and is a frequent guest artist at universities, cultural institutions, and literary centers across the United States.
He has taught as an adjunct in fiction at Naropa University, and is currently a Mentor for Prescott College’s Graduate Program. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and children.
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.