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Creative Writing

February 2, 2010

Innovation was a cornerstone of a Kirkland College education. In the 1960s and 1970s, only a handful of colleges in the United States offered an undergraduate degree in creative writing. According to the Associated Writing Programs, half a dozen colleges conferred a BA to student majoring in creative writing in 1975. Kirkland was one of them.

More than 20 Kirkland undergraduates concentrated in creative writing. Many of them later earned MFAs or MAs in writing from prestigious programs at the University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, Columbia University, Vermont College, and others. Some pursued successful careers in magazine and book publishing, journalism, teaching writing and literature, or related fields.

William Rosenfeld and Naomi Cohen (K’78) in a fiction workshop at Kirkland

• Kirkland was one of the earliest members of the Associated Writing Programs, a professional organization founded in 1967 to support and encourage academic creative writing programs and individual writers.

• Carl Beier was the first chairman of Kirkland’s arts division and creative writing program.

• Creative writing was in the Arts Division, not the English Department. This concept was visionary in the 1960s and 1970s. Thirty years later, creative writing at most colleges and universities remains in the English Department.

• Kirkland students who concentrated in creative writing took a minimum of 6 writing workshops, including introduction to writing courses and advanced workshops in prose and poetry, and had to complete a Senior Project.

Read about Kirkland Writing Faculty

Read about Kirkland Authors

Read about “Red Weather”  Kirkland’s Literary Magazine

Read about the Watrous Prizes

Jo Pitkin K’78

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