Program description: At EOU, we share a core belief that creative individuals are an under-appreciated and under-used resource. The creative makers among us have much to offer their communities and we commit ourselves therefore to fostering that creativity. It is our belief, too, that finding community-based solutions to the real problems communities face can and should be a collaboration in which the creativity of artists and writers play vital, enduring roles for enriching the lives of all.
Each summer, MFA students attend the week-long Fishtrap Conference, participating in generative writing workshops, readings, panels, lectures, conversations, and more. The Fishtrap Conference is followed by a week of concentrated coursework on the EOU campus, foregrounding craft and critique. The remainder of the year, coursework continues at a distance. Our award-winning faculty mentors work closely with students on their writing projects, as well as provide instruction in contemporary literature, rhetoric, and special topics crafted to address student interests.
The Grande Ronde Valley and nearby Wallowa Valley also are gateways to Eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains and Oregon’s largest wilderness, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, which provide an exceptional resource for student writers enrolled in our Wilderness, Ecology, and Community program.
We are determined to provide students with meaningful, hands-on learning opportunities such as practica in professional editing and publishing with our award-winning literary magazines, basalt and Oregon East, as well as with our affiliated presses Lynx House and Lost Horse. In doing so, our graduates develop creative skills that allow them to live more meaningful, productive lives in more prosperous, resilient communities.