Ashalnd University :: Creative Writing Programs :: NewPages Guide
MFA in Creative Writing (low res)
401 College Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805
Program director: Stephen Haven
Program contact: Sarah Wells, Administrative Director
Degrees offered: MFA
Genres: Creative nonfiction and Poetry
Type of program: Low residency
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 available: No
Core faculty: Peter Campion, Jill Christman, Bob Cowser, Jr., Angie Estes, Steven Harvey, Stephen Haven, Sonya Huber, Daniel W. Lehman, Robert Root, Ruth Schwartz, Kathryn Winograd, Mark Irwin, Joe Mackall
Assistantships: No, though students have opportunities to work with the literary journal and poetry press
Publishing/editing courses: Editors from presses and journals attend each summer residency
Literary magazine: Yes, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative
Reading series: Yes, AU has a spring reading series and invites visiting writers to present during the summer residency
Recent visiting writers: Phillip Lopate, Kathleen Norris, Scott Russell Sanders, Floyd Skloot, Natasha Trethewey, David Wojahn, C.K. Williams, Kevin Young (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!