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




find us on facebook
Share this page:



Apply Now

We are currently accepting applications for Autumn 2015. Please contact us at with questions.

Apply now

Choose "Creative Writing & Poetics (MFA) - Bothell Campus" after completing an applicant profile.


Information Sessions

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

Check the info session schedule and sign up online.

MFA Student Work

Small Po[r]tions Journal: a new electronic and print journal focusing on short[er] works.

Now accepting submissions.


Blood of an Author Box:

Inspired by Eleanor Antin’s The Blood of a Poet Box (1965-68), the project collected words from hundreds of poets, authors and citizens on microscope slides and uses them to generate new texts.

Now accepting submissions.

Fall Events

2014 Fall Convergence, September 25-27. Schedule now available.


Chelsea Carter publishes in Delirious Hem

Rebecca Brown publishes “The Fall is Hard” in The Stranger

Amaranth Borsuk exhibits, performs, and discusses electronic literature

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas screen and publish their work

MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics hosts 2014 Spring Festival

MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics student awarded Chancellor's Medal

Jeanne Heuving reads at and participates in the Cascadia Poetry Festival

INCA Seattle hosts student exhibitions

Amaranth Borsuk participates in digital humanities symposium in Hong Kong

Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman exhibit their work in Helsinki

Ted Hiebert exhibits at Video-in Video-out (VIVO)

Christian Anderson, Ben Gardner, Ted Hiebert, Jin-Kyu Jung, and Santiago Lopez present at Association of American Geographers

Aeron Bergman hosts Chris Kraus at UW Bothell

Ted Hiebert, Barbara Noah, and Gary Carpenter contribute to Keys to the Studio exhibit

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas publish an artist book and essay

Rebecca Brown noted in The Huffington Post

Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman exhibit new work in Oslo, Norway

Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman perform in Helsinki, Finland

Ben Gardner, Susan Harewood, Ted Hiebert, and Keith Nitta promoted and tenured

Amaranth Borsuk publishes, sprints, and exhibits her works

IAS MFA faculty present, read, and perform at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference

IAS MFA students make a splash at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference

Amaranth Borsuk and Sarah Dowling host off-site reading at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference

Alejandra Salinas and Aeron Bergman will be artists-in-residence at Helsinki International Artist Programme

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas launch new print studio

Jeanne Heuving publishes “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts” in Hambone 20

Rebecca Brown’s creative work is the subject of scholarly book

Amaranth Borsuk performs, exhibits, and presents at the Modern Language Association

Dan Berger and Joe Milutis win Royalty Research Fund awards

Ted Hiebert opens art exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art

Gwen Ottinger, Amaranth Borsuk, Sarah Dowling, and Jennifer Atkinson win Simpson Center grants

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas appear in Billedkunst

Rebecca Brown publishes and reads widely this fall

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas curate work by Ulrika Gomm

Amaranth Borsuk leads Art Break tour at the Henry Art Gallery

Sarah Dowling published "How Lucky I Was to Be Free and Safe at Home"

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas reviewed in Frieze Magazine

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas host Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

Amaranth Borsuk wins Subito Prize for poetry

Rebecca Brown reads, curates, and publishes locally and nationally

Amaranth Borsuk talks about electronic literature, yesterday and tomorrow

Sarah Dowling publishes “They Were Girls” in American Quarterly

Aeron Bergman discusses art and political economy in Austria

Amaranth Borsuk and Sarah Dowling publish in 1913: A Journal of Forms

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas exhibit and discuss their work nationally and internationally

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas publish The Smell of Deposition

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas exhibit their work at Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Austria

Ted Hiebert launches three art exhibits

Aeron Bergman and Alejandra Salinas exhibit their work at the Bergen Assembly

Amaranth Borsuk launches commentary column on artists' books in the digital age in Jacket2

Rebecca Brown curates Devotion at the Hedreen Gallery

Ted Hiebert publishes article in Performance Research

Ted Hiebert performs and exhibits work in Singapore and Montreal

Rebecca Brown talks about writing and writes “In Defense of Monsters”

Amaranth Borsuk speaks about, reads, and publishes on poetry and books

IAS adds fourteen new full-time faculty members for 2013-14

Ted Hiebert continues to haunt the art world, locally and internationally

Linda Watts, Alan Wood, Jin-Kyu Jung, and Ted Hiebert win Worthington Innovation Fellows awards for 2013-14

Amaranth Borsuk reads and lectures, locally, nationally, and internationally

Rebecca Brown opens 2013 APRIL Festival with “Benediction”

MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics students kick-off reading series

Sarah Dowling reads her poetry in Portland, Oregon

Joe Milutis launches new book at Bökship in London

Rebecca Brown dialogues with Garry Wills and First Baptist Church in Seattle

Amaranth Borsuk and Joe Milutis represent the new MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics at Elliott Bay Book Company

Joe Milutis publishes a new book, Failure: A Writer’s Life

Rebecca Brown reads, interviews, and publishes a new essay and short story

Six IAS faculty members win UW Simpson Center for the Humanities grants

Ted Hiebert participates in three Seattle art exhibitions in January and February

Amaranth Borsuk maps the future of the book in Mexico City and Chicago

Ted Hiebert curates group art exhibit at the Open Space Artist Run Centre in Victoria, British Columbia

Rebecca Brown's publishes "Diminished" in PageBoy Magazine -- and more

Joe Milutis publishes essays in Cabinet and Triple Canopy

Rebecca Brown's creative work translated into Dutch and Japanese

Rebecca Brown delivers gonzo zombie lecture on Halloween

Amaranth Borsuk speaks at the "Refiguring the Book" symposium - and more...

Sarah Dowling publishes new chapbook, Birds & Bees, through Troll Thread

Jeanne Heuving publishes Interview with Nathaniel Mackey

Amaranth Borsuk's Between Page and Screen garners positive reviews

Rebecca Brown chosen for Moment Magnitude exhibit at the Frye Art Museum

Ted Hiebert opens three new exhibitions

Rebecca Brown interviews Paul Auster

Ted Hiebert publishes In Praise of Nonsense

Learm more about MFA faculty

Director Jeanne Heuving sounds off on new MFA

Nearly 200 conference participants celebrated the launch of the MFA at the Convergence on Poetics, September 27-30.