40 Credit Hours
MFA Creative Writing-Poetry
Columbia College Chicago offers a unique two-year MFA Poetry program dedicated exclusively to the genre of poetry. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of poetic styles and will bolster their imaginative and critical writing abilities alongside dedicated peers and engaged poet-professors.
students are encouraged to explore a variety of poetic styles and will bolster their imaginative and critical writing abilities alongside dedicated peers and engaged poet-professors
Their classroom practice is complemented by professional practice through internships and publication opportunities, which help launch students into careers as writers, teachers, editors, and publishers. Graduates of the MFA in Creative Writing - Poetry degree program have a sophisticated understanding of poetry as a contemporary and historical practice, a mature body of work, and valuable experience working in a professional literary environment.
an active monthly reading series offers MFA Poetry students a chance to hear and meet nationally-renowned poets
Students take advantage of the Columbia’s wide network of scholars and its close relationship to local arts organizations such as the Poetry Foundation and Chicago Poetry Center. An active monthly reading series offers MFA Poetry students a chance to hear and meet nationally-renowned poets such as Alice Notley, Harryette Mullen, and D.A. Powell. In addition, Columbia hosts the Elma Stuckey Liberal Arts & Sciences Emerging Poet-in-Residence, a poet from an underrepresented community who brings diverse cultural, ethnic, theoretical, and national perspectives to his or her writing and teaching. Past Poets-in-Residence include John Murillo, Sandra Lim, Jaswinder Bolina, and CM Burroughs.
The curriculum is structured around Poetry Workshops, Craft Seminars and Literature Classes, and culminates in the creation of a book-length manuscript. In the workshop setting, students develop writing skills in tandem with their creative, critical, and aesthetic understanding of the discipline. Seminars expose students to various poetic topics, theories, and forms which help them examine and articulate their own craft. Literature courses focus on some of the most potent poets and critical eras in the history of the genre and ground the student's work in a broad historical context. All courses lead to the ultimate project of a poetry thesis. Students work one-on-one with a core faculty member to revise and complete this significant project of publishable quality, which often serves as a point of entry to the literary field.
students assume paid teaching positions as Graduate Student Instructors of First Year writing courses
Publication and Teaching Opportunities
In addition to the core coursework, the program also affords students an opportunity to take electives in writing pedagogy and literary magazine editing and production. Moreover, they can put those skills to work right on campus, with students assuming paid teaching positions as Graduate Student Instructors of First Year writing courses. They may also join the staff of the department's award-winning national publications: Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, and Hotel Amerika. These hands-on practical experiences are invaluable to an artist who intends to make the transition from student to working professional.
This distinctive MFA program is housed within the vibrant literary scene of Chicago, the birthplace of the poetry slam and home to one of the most active poetry communities in the country. Columbia students benefit from the support of a college and a city devoted to incubating their work-they leave the program aesthetically mature and poised for a career in the literary arts.