Ashland University :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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Ashland University

MFA in Creative Writing

Contact Information:

401 College Avenue

Ashland, OH 44805


Program director: Stephen Haven

Program contact: Sarah Wells, Administrative Director

Phone: 419-289-5957


Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: low-residency

Genres: creative nonfiction, poetry

Length of program: four semesters and three summer sessions

Enrollment: 72 maximum in summer sessions, 48 during the year

Total credits required: 45

Application deadlines: September 1 priority deadline for Spring Semester – applications accepted through November 15 for January admission; February 1 priority deadline for Summer/Fall – applications accepted through May 15 for Summer/Fall

Scholarships: no

Core faculty: Jill Christman, Bob Cowser, Jr., Angie Estes, Steven Harvey, Stephen Haven, Mark Irwin, Daniel W. Lehman, Joe Mackall, Robert Root, Ruth L. Schwartz, Kathryn Winograd

Assistantships: no

Publishing/editing courses: no

Literary magazine: River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative

Reading series: yes (see website)

Recent visiting writers: Mira Bartok, Brian Doyle, Andre Dubus III, Linda Gregerson, Garrett Hongo, Laura Kasischke, Alicia Ostriker, Cheryl Strayed (see website for additional visiting writers)

Program description: Ashland University offers the only two-genre low-residency program in the country, with a cross-genre option and degree tracks in poetry and creative nonfiction. The program is characterized both by an insistence on high aesthetic standards for the creation of new literature and by an emphasis on a supportive community of writers. Following the University’s century-old tradition of “Accent on the Individual”, the MFA at AU provides students a nurturing and challenging atmosphere for developing their craft, with a student-teacher ratio of no greater than 5 to 1.

The Ashland MFA Program embraces a Whitmanesque sense of the writer's radical good cheer and the skeptic's insistence to confront realities. While accepting no easy assumptions - not even assuming the ability of language to embody the full range and richness of the most simple, human moment - we are interested in what poets and nonfiction writers can learn from one another. 

What, for example, does it mean to write within an orientation to "the truth," as poets often do and nonfiction writers must? What might it mean for a nonfiction writer to emphasize the imagination as fully as a poet? How might an associational movement of thought, imagery, emotion, and sound offer an entry into the multi-layered nature of the radically real?

We invite accomplished poets and nonfiction writers who are drawn by the interplay between poetry and nonfiction to apply to our program. Come join the celebration!


Last updated 10/09/2013