The creative writing curriculum explores the work of many great writers, past and present, and encourages students to respond thoughtfully and critically to those works. By exploring all genres of literature and workshopping creative pieces with peers and professional authors, students expand their abilities to consider important concepts including context, image, voice, and audience. Students may concentrate on poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.
Students may develop additional experience in editing, writing, graphic design, and planning literary events through internships with The Critical Point (the University’s journal of visual and literary arts), Dionne’s Story (an anthology of original writing connected to Dionne’s Project), the Hungry Sphinx Reading Series (an interactive series between the community and the university), and Voices From the Attic (the annual anthology of the Madwomen in the Attic).
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a low-residency international program designed for students who want to be professional writers,
to teach creative writing at the college level, or to enjoy the satisfaction of writing and reading in an individualized program. For an entire
semester, students study poetry, fiction, or nonfiction with prominent American and Irish writers who are also skilled teachers. A combination
of workshops, seminars, and lectures creates a stimulating atmosphere for students to learn and discuss the art of writing.
The program requires a minimum of five semesters and 36 credits. Four semesters begin with an intensive 11-day residency at either Carlow
University in Pittsburgh or a site in Ireland. At the end of each residency, students spend five months writing and reading in their chosen genre
under the supervision of the professional writer with whom they worked during residency. The student may devote one of the residencies and its
practicum to another genre. The student to faculty ratio is normally 5:1.