New Student Programs

Creative Writing-Poetry

About Creative Writing - Poetry

The Department of Creative Writing offers a comprehensive writing program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Poetry. The goal of the poetry program is to develop the poetry writing skills of students and to help them gain a greater creative, critical, and aesthetic understanding of their discipline. The program does this through a sequence of poetry workshops (beginning, intermediate, and advanced); poetry literature classes; hybrid studio/academic craft seminars; a poetry reading series that has included such distinguished figures as Peter Gizzi, Bernadette Mayer, Tracie Morris, Harryette Mullen, Amy Gerstler, Mary Ruefle, Ed Roberson, George Kalamaras, Kate Greenstreet, and Elaine Equi; and our nationally distributed poetry magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, which is edited by students and published in the spring of each year. The program's faculty is dedicated to the students, and is committed to the kind of close attention to student work that is necessary for consistent, sustained growth as a writer. Students can count on studying with faculty whose own artistic practice covers a wide aesthetic range, and who are actively publishing, editing, and reading new work. All members of the core poetry hold terminal degrees, are widely and impressively published (40 books between the current five full-time Creative Writing-Poetry core faculty, in fact), and have national reputations. The combination of studio practice, academic study, committed faculty, and editing/publishing opportunities allows students to experience of wide range of not only academic interests, but to also begin to participate in the poetic and literary worlds that have made the city of Chicago a key national destination for innovative new writing.


Recommended First-Semester Classes

We recommend students take the following courses within their first semester as a Poetry major:

  • • 52-1500 Poetry Workshop: Beginning
  • • 59-1100 Foundations in Creative Writing I


(We also recommend taking Writing & Rhetoric I and First Year Seminar.)

View the Full Course Catalog