Poetry

Careers

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Aaron  Abeyta  headshot
Director, Poetry Concentration, Nature Writing Concentration Faculty
Phone: 970.943.2163
Email:
Office Location:
Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D. headshot
Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Phone: 970.943.2298
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222B
Julie Kane, Ph.D. headshot
Poetry Concentration Faculty
Phone: 970.943.2163
Office Location: Remote
Andrew Sellon, MFA headshot
Poetry Concentration Faculty
Phone: 970.943.2163
Office Location: Remote

Courses

For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 CRWR 600 - MFA ORIENTATION III (1 cred.)

Focus on learning mastery of online tools, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors during first summer; focus on attending presentations and participating in workshop sessions during second summer; and focus on presenting student thesis as well as attending and participating in other readings during third summer. Must be repeated three times for credit.

 CRWR 600 - SUMMER ORIENTATION MFA I (1 cred.)

Focus on learning mastery of online tools, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors during first summer; focus on attending presentations and participating in workshop sessions during second summer; and focus on presenting student thesis as well as attending and participating in other readings during third summer. Must be repeated three times for credit.

 CRWR 600 - SUMMER ORIENTATION (1 cred.)

Focus on learning mastery of online tools, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors during first summer; focus on attending presentations and participating in workshop sessions during second summer; and focus on presenting student thesis as well as attending and participating in other readings during third summer. Must be repeated three times for credit.

 CRWR 600 - SUMMER ORIENTATION MFA II (1 cred.)

Focus on learning mastery of online tools, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors during first summer; focus on attending presentations and participating in workshop sessions during second summer; and focus on presenting student thesis as well as attending and participating in other readings during third summer. Must be repeated three times for credit.

 CRWR 631 - SCANSION IMMERSION (2 cred.)

Focus on an intensive review of prosody – how to make meter and rhythm work in the poetic line as well as how to discern that structure in the works of others. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 CRWR 632 - PUBLIC PERFORMANCE (2 cred.)

Focus on the quintessence of public speaking, particularly as it applies to the performance of poetry, delivery of lectures, and participation in panels, understanding of the craft of using their voices and their physical presence to deliver creative, critical and pedagogical work orally to the public, and how to participate in conversations with the greatest possible skill and grace. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 CRWR 633 - POETRY AND MUSIC (2 cred.)

Focus on exploring some of the complex relations between these two arts, from theoretical discussion to the practical aspects of writing everything from song lyrics to choral odes to opera libretti.

 CRWR 636 - METRICAL TRADS VERSIFICATIN I (6 cred.)

Focus on tracing the development of the metrical tradition in English poetry from the beginning to the present. Students read poems in all the major forms (Anglo-Saxon Strong Stress Meter, the ballad, classical imitations, blank verse, the sonnet, iambic tetrameter, etc.) along with historical and theoretical commentary. Students also model such forms and scan their own work and that of others. Students will also trace the development of theories of versification and prosody in English. Students read a wide range of works, many of them by poets, in which they describe their craft and that of others, and they compare theories of and approaches to metrical poetry. In this course students are expected to produce a wide range of short essays on various traditions of versification, along with at least one substantial research paper.

 CRWR 638 - HIST OF ENGL LANG POETRY TRANS (6 cred.)

Focus on a two-pronged study, first of the historical development and evolution of English, and second, work to understand translating poetry, studying and comparing translations, reading theories of translation and attempting translations. Prerequisites: Proof of second-year, or its equivalent, of reading competency in a foreign language.

 CRWR 641 - METRICAL TRADS VERSIFICATN II (6 cred.)

Focus on emphasizing advanced topics in metrical composition, e.g. stanza forms, longer forms and sequences, narrative forms, nonce forms (including free verse forms). Students not only practice the forms, but read and scan them along with delving into the history, criticism and theory. The course also selects several major traditions in verse theory and explores them in depth, e.g., linguistic theories of verse; structuralist theories; relations between verse and music; attempt to imitate classical forms in modern languages; etc.

 CRWR 643 - HIST FOUND OF ENGLISH PROSODY (6 cred.)

Focus on an exploration of the theory and practice of rhythm and rhyme, including all variations, their sources and their traditions in consideration of aesthetic, linguistic, and anthropological theories.

 CRWR 646 - NARRATIVE POETRY (6 cred.)

Focus on examination, analysis, study, and writing in the narrative genres and modes of poetry, from the ballad to the epic and novel in verse.

 CRWR 647 - DRAMATC POETRY AND SATRC VERSE (6 cred.)

Focus on examination, analysis, discussion, and writing in all the modes of comic verse, including all the modes of satire (Menippean, Horatian, parodic), to verse-based comic approaches such as light verse, doggerel, children’s verse, and more. Additionally, an exploration of dramatic techniques of verse from ancient Greece through the Renaissance, and to modern writers such as T. S. Eliot and up to the present.

 CRWR 653 - POETRY BK REV POETRY LIT PED (6 cred.)

Close analysis of the best reviews and criticism of the past and present, and practice in writing similar pieces. Second half of the course focuses on a wide range of techniques and materials available to teachers of poetry.

 CRWR 694 - CAPSTONE PRJ I (3 cred.)

Culmination of the student's education at Western. In consultation with his or her adviser, the student completes a single work of genre fiction OR a collection of shorter genre fiction works (such as short stories or novellas) of publishable quality, suitable for public reading, and for thesis binding.

Western’s MFA and M.A. program in Poetry cultivates poets who feel compelled to speak to our moment, to be relevant to our times. Yet we believe that it is impossible to speak effectively to the present moment without understanding the past. That is why students in our program not only study contemporary poetry and learn to write in the freer forms that are widespread today but also study the history of their art and master traditional poetic forms. We want our students to use their knowledge of the poetic tradition to forge the future of poetry.

The Program

Western’s MFA and M.A. in Poetry is a low-residency program, meaning faculty and students interact online and through conference calls during the academic year and then gather for two weeks in July on the Gunnison campus for classes, lectures, readings, discussions, and of course, writing.

  • MFA students attend three summer residencies: one prior to the first semester, one between years one and two and one in the third summer.
  • During the academic year, full-time MFA students take two courses each semester. These six-credit courses make use of videoconferencing and Blackboard for online work.
  • To complete the MFA, students work on a thesis throughout their final year. Completed theses are bound, registered and placed on the shelves of Western’s Leslie J. Savage Library.
  • M.A. students pursue an identical curriculum to MFA students, but only come for two summers and one academic year. M.A. students do not write a thesis.

Opportunities and Partnerships

  • Students have the opportunity to get experience in the world of publishing by working with “THINK: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction, Essays, and Reviews.”
  • Students and alumni are invited to give readings at the Gunnison Valley Poetry Festival, held in late summer, and at other public events during the year.
  • Students are able to take a course from the program’s other concentrations: Genre Fiction, Screenwriting for Film and Television, Nature Writing and Publishing.
  • Many students add a second concentration to their degrees, allowing for unique combination degrees, such as Poetry and Nature Writing or Poetry and Publishing.

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Michelle Wilk
Program Support Coordinator
Phone: 
Office Location: 
Quigley Hall 117

Related Programs

Genre Fiction

Read more

Nature Writing

Read more

Publishing

Read more

Screenwriting for Film & Television

Read more

Graduate Program in Creative Writing

Read more