Creative Writing Programs :: NewPages Guide
MFA in Poetry
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
Program director: Lisa Fishman, Associate Professor of English
Program contact: Nicole Wilson, Assistant Programs Director
Phone: (312) 369-8819
Email: nwilson[at]colum[dot]edu or mfapoetry[at]colum[dot]edu
Degrees offered: MFA
Type of program: Residency
Length of program: 2 years
Enrollment: 10-12 students per year
Total credits required: 40
Application deadlines: January of each year
Scholarships available: Yes
Core faculty: Lisa Fishman, Arielle Greenberg, Tony Trigilio, David Trinidad; Jenny Boully (Poetry & CNF)
Funding: Availability of teaching instructorships and competitive fellowships
Publishing/editing courses: Yes, in connection with the Program’s nationally-distributed literary journal, Columbia Poetry Review
Literary magazine: Yes; The English Department is home to four literary journals; MFA students have the opportunity to work for Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, Hotel Amerika, and South Loop Review.
Reading series: An active monthly reading series featuring nationally-recognized poets such as Rae Armantrout, Anselm Berrigan, Michael Burkard, Denise Duhamel, Elaine Equi, C.S. Giscombe, Kate Greenstreet, Matthea Harvey, Terrance Hayes, Dorianne Laux, Joyelle McSweeney, Harryette Mullen, Maggie Nelson, Alice Notley, Naomi Shihab Nye, Michael Palmer, D.A. Powell, and Jean Valentine, among others.
Recent visiting writers: Instituted in 2008-09, the English Department welcomes an annual Liberal Arts and Sciences Emerging Poet-in-Residence. Prior to the Emerging Poets-in-Residence, visiting faculty included Joan Larkin, Ed Roberson, Karen Volkman, Laura Mullen, Tom Raworth, Diane Di Prima, Li-Young Lee, Clayton Eshleman, Nick Carbo, Stephanie Strickland, Rick Meier, and Danielle Pafunda.
Program description: Columbia College Chicago's MFA Program in Creative Writing-Poetry is one of the only single-genre programs in the country and one that will help students develop their writing at a high creative and professional level as they gain a sophisticated understanding of poetry as a contemporary and historical practice and bolster their imaginative and critical abilities.
In addition to Literature Classes and Craft Seminars, students will take Graduate Poetry Workshops and in their pen-ultimate semester, a Thesis Development Seminar. Students will also have the chance to take electives in writing pedagogy and literary magazine editing and production. In their final semester, students polish a book-length manuscript as they work one-on-one with one of our nationally-renowned, award-winning core faculty members or with our Liberal Arts and Sciences Emerging Poet-in-Residence.
Overall, the Program's specialized course of study will help prepare students for lives as artists, scholars, and creative professionals and prepare them to participate in the worlds of poetry, publishing, and the arts.