Commonplace was created so that anyone involved or interested in the low-residency Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Alaska Anchorage could stay updated about the program, literary opportunities, the creative writing community, and more! It is run by MFA students and faculty who try to keep everything current and post everything from helpful information to writing excerpts.
About the MFA
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is a low-residency program in creative writing that emphasizes a literary approach to exploring and redefining relationships between people and place.
It is a 45-credit degree program taken over a three-year period - one course, worth five credits each, taken each semester for nine semesters. The coursework culminates in a book-length thesis project of creative work, accompanied by a critical essay and an annotated bibliography. This accredited degree program offers studies in three genres (listed below), and teaches students how to master craft, read the classic works that define the evolution of their genre, and develop skills to balance the demands of life with the discipline of writing.
David Stevenson | Director
Anne Caston | Poetry
Rich Chiappone | Fiction & Nonfiction
Jan DeBlieu | Nonfiction
Daryl Farmer | Fiction & Nonfiction
Erin Coughlin Hollowell | Poetry
Ishmael Hope | Poetry
Nancy Lord | Fiction & Nonfiction
Valerie Miner | Fiction & Nonfiction
Sherry Simpson | Nonfiction
Ed Allen | Fiction
The roughly two-week residency allows students and faculty to immerse themselves in the work of writers: reading, writing, and sharing ideas. The classes and workshops are informative, intensive, and inspirational. Students have the opportunity to learn from every faculty member, in every genre, while discovering which mentors are best suited for their own work. Faculty and students gather informally at most meals, and the entire group shares several meals, including at the informal "graduation" ceremony.
The residency is the exhausting and exhilarating highlight of the year. It is during this time that students and faculty establish a sense of community that sustains them throughout the rest of the year.