School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics



Our Program

Inside the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing and Poetics at the University of Washington Bothell (UW Bothell) is dedicated to helping each student develop their creative work through a course of study that encourages exploration and discovery. Through an emphasis on poetics, or why we write how we write, we invite students to participate in a forum and laboratory that focuses on the pursuit of creative writing in a rapidly changing society.

The intensive, first year curriculum is based on areas of inquiry, rather than genres, creating an alternative to most regional and national MFA programs. It asks: How is creative writing an ethical, political, and aesthetic endeavor? How does new media change the production, reception, and dissemination of creative works? What forms might creative writing take in an interconnected, transnational society?

In the second year, students pursue a thesis with an advisor and an individualized course of study. Some degree candidates may choose to write their thesis as a single genre; others may elect hybrid modes that utilize multiple genres or media. The second year is designed to give students access to a broad range of interdisciplinary courses so that they can develop an area of expertise pertinent to their written arts and career paths.

Program and Special Events

Each year there is a Fall Convergence in which our graduate students, UW Bothell faculty, and invited nationally and internationally renowned writers engage with each other.  There are author readings and conversations, poetics panels and discussions, and open exchange. The Spring Festival concludes the academic year with all of the graduating MFA students reading from their thesis to the assembled MFA faculty and guests.  Each graduating cohort selects one writer or artist apart from the MFA faculty to preside at this occasion.  

The 2014 Fall Convergence focuses on liveness as the state or quality of being alive, or live. Details about the 2014 Convergence are hosted here. Learn more about the 2013 Fall Convergence on Poetics or the 2012 Fall Convergence that launched the UW Bothell MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics and listen to a sample of writer / artist performances. 

In addition to its fall and spring events, the MFA sponsors multiple campus and course related author and artist visits to campus.   UW Bothell is located in the Convergence Zone, a place of mixing weather fronts, that can create wild and unpredictable weather.  We answer this weather with our own converging fronts of author readings, performances and talks.

The MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics at UW Bothell was a major sponsor of the 2014 AWP Annual Conference & Bookfair in Seattle at the end of February. We also hosted an off-site reading at the 2012 MLA Conference in Seattle. Listen to fifty Local, National, and International Readers at the MLA Off-Site Reading here.

If you would like to receive periodic updates on the MFA as more information becomes available, please send your full name, phone number, and mailing address to the IAS Graduate Office at




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We are currently accepting applications for Autumn 2015. The priority deadline has passed, and we will review applications on a rolling basis. Please contact us at with questions.

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Information Sessions

Learn about all aspects of the program and speak directly to a program representative.

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