Bard College :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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Bard College

Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts

MFA in Creative Writing

Contact Information:

Bard College MFA

30 Campus Road

PO Box 5000

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504


Program director: Arthur Gibbons

Program contact: Susan Tveekrem

Phone: (845) 758-7481


Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: low-residency

Length of program: 26 months (3 summers)

Genres: Any, but most suited to poetry, short fiction, sound, internet, and mixed-media writing.

Enrollment: 12

Total credits required: 60

Application deadlines: January 15

Scholarships: yes (see website)

Assistantships: no

Core faculty: Anselm Berrigan, Robert Fitterman, Paul La Farge, Ann Lauterbach, Anna Moschovakis, David Levi Strauss, Matvei Yankelevich

Visiting faculty: Trinie Dalton, Renee Gladman, Carla Harryman, Fiona Maazel, Tracie Morris, Fred Moten, Dana Ward

Publishing/editing courses: no

Literary magazine: Conjunctions

Recent visiting writers: Tim Griffin, Ben Lerner, Maggie Nelson, Roberto Tejada, Lynne Tillman

Program description: Bard MFA is a nontraditional school for interdisciplinary study in the visual and creative arts: film/video, music/sound, painting, photography, sculpture, and writing. Students are in residence on campus for eight weeks during three consecutive summers, with two winter sessions of independent study completed off campus. At Bard, the MFA community itself is the primary resource for the student—serving as audience, teacher, and peer group in an ongoing dialogue. Each summer, students meet one on one with faculty from all six disciplines; discuss topics of current relevance in discipline caucuses of 20 artists; attend visiting artist readings, performances, and lectures; and evaluate the work of fellow students in interdisciplinary group critiques with all 80 students and 30 faculty.

This interdisciplinary context is ideal for writers, as it allows them to explore issues common to the other arts while they address those specific to writing. The program puts an emphasis on developing awareness of a variety of verbal, aural, and textual structures. Students are encouraged to find and develop an individual process of composition, as well as a critical understanding of their field. Faculty members are drawn from writers with a wide range of media, styles, and concerns, many of who are known for addressing difficult social and cultural subjects through exploratory approaches to writing.

Students can work in any genre, though the structure and nature of the program make it most suitable for shorter forms such as poetry, short fiction, sound, performance, internet, and mixed-media writing.