A new generation of creative writing
The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program is unique in that it considers language as one among many available materials. Situated in a school of art and design known for its strong support of interdisciplinary practices, our program encourages experimentation within and across writing forms, genres, and mediums along with a variety of publishing formats to include print, digital, sound, performance, and text-image works. This is writing as studio art.
It’s not so much about experimentation for the sake of experimentation but holding space for writers and artists to recognize their distinct, idiosyncratic ways of being on the page, these ways of being that rise from various classes, ethnic origins, and cultures. Such works don’t always fit tidily within genre definitions or conventions and cannot always be explained through cerebral elucidations. Multiplicity. Hybridity. Writing can be story, translation, nonfiction, poetry, travelogue, memory-based, soundscape, fragmented field, music sheets, collage, rant, dreamscape. Writing can tangle together critical and creative modes, or the critical is creative, and the imaginative can slip, mid-phrase, into critical examination and deconstruction of language. Writing can and should question writing and the materials it makes use of.
The program’s tracks are prose, poetry, cross-genre, and literary translation. Residencies in winter and summer are supplemented with mentor-based independent work throughout the rest of the year.
Writing in Portland
Our annual residencies are in the heart of Portland, Oregon where we are deeply integrated into its community of artists and writers who have made a real commitment to making art that is revelatory, experimental, and that advocates for social justice.
The program draws upon our existing strong relationships with partners in our burgeoning Portland literary scene—including Write Around Portland (WRAP), IN TRANSLATION Reading Series, Literary Arts, Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC), Regional Arts & Cultural Council (RACC), Mother Foucault’s bookshop, Powell’s Books, Passages Bookshop, Poetry Press Week, Tender Table, Street Books, along with a host of local, regional, and national small presses, e.g., Tavern Books, Gramma Poetry, New Directions, Wave Books, Hawthorne Books, among others.