PNCA Launches Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing

March 13, 2019

Portland, OR—March 12, 2019— The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is thrilled to announce the launch of the new Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing, an innovative creative writing program distinguished by its being situated within a school of art and design. The program is chaired by Jay Ponteri who directed the Creative Writing program at Marylhurst University for a decade. Ponteri is a recipient of the 2013 Oregon Book Award and author of Darkmouth Inside Me and Wedlocked.

The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program is unique in that it considers language as one among many available materials. Situated in a school of art and design known for its strong support of conceptual inquiry and interdisciplinary practices, the program encourages experimentation within and across writing forms, genres, and mediums along with a variety of publishing formats to include print, digital, sound, performance, and text-image works. This is writing as studio art.

“We could not be more excited to launch this program with its distinctive take on the possibilities for an expanded writing practice to include media in addition to the printed word,” says MK Guth, Director of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies. “There’s no better program for explorations of this kind. Students will be surrounded by peer artists and thinkers who are also imagining innovative ways of incorporating language into an art practice.”

The program offers tracks in prose, poetry, cross-genre, and literary translation. Students attend Portland-based residencies in winter and summer and pursue mentor-supported independent work throughout the rest of the year.

2019 Summer Residency Visiting Faculty include Vi Khi Nao, Brandon Shimoda, Rachel Jamison Webster, and Selah Saterstrom. D.A. Carter and Stephanie Adams-Santos are this summer’s visiting guest artists.

“It’s not so much about experimentation for the sake of experimentation but holding space for writers and artists to recognize their distinct, idiosyncratic ways of being on the page, these ways of being that rise from various classes, ethnic origins, and cultures,” says Ponteri. “These works don’t always fit tidily within genre definitions or conventions and cannot always be explained through cerebral elucidations. This program is distinguished by its focus of supporting work of this nature.”

The balance between independent work and community immersion during the residencies helps graduate students develop the skills for sustaining reading and writing practices throughout their lives. It teaches graduate students to develop a rigorous, self-motivated discipline while periodically inviting them into supportive, non-competitive, generative spaces of community. This is a program deeply embedded in one of the country's most literary cities, Portland, Oregon.

Students also have access to all labs, shops, libraries and equipment at PNCA. Labs are staffed by qualified technicians able to provide students with technical assistance and instruction, with specialized equipment for book arts, printmaking, ceramics, design, metals, photography, wood, video, sound, and interactive digital works. There are several different digital computer labs with professional-level color, large-format printing capabilities.

Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing X AWP

The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing is hosting two important events in conjunction with this year’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in March in Portland. On Thursday, March 28, 2019 the program is honored to collaborate with Wave Books on the Wave Books: Burning Deck Exhibition and Tribute to Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, a display of Burning Deck publications from the past 60 years, including rare letterpress editions and magazines, along with a casual reading celebration, with many collaborators, friends, and former students of the Waldrops reading from favorite Burning Deck or Waldrop books. Featuring Alejandro de Acosta, Rae Armantrout, Kristin P. Bradshaw, Lee Ann Brown, Matthew Cooperman, Danielle Dutton, E. Tracy Grinnell, Aaron Kunin, Jena Osman, Lisa Pearson, Sarah Riggs, Martin Riker, Lynn Xu, Magdalena Zurawski, and others. The exhibition is on view on the second floor from 6 to 9pm, and readings begin at 6:30 and 8:00.

In addition, the program will host the important Tender Table: Food & Storytelling by Diana Khoi Nguyen, Ashley Toliver, and Amy Lam on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 6:30pm. Tender Table is a storytelling platform for women, trans men and nonbinary folks who are black, indigenous, or people of color. Each event promises food as well as “narratives about the sweet, savory, sour, and bitter relationships to food and its connections to identity, memory, and community.”

About the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA
The MA and MFA programs of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA support the development of experimental, interdisciplinary, and collaborative creative practices through experiential learning, student-centered seminars, and one-on-one mentorship. Graduate study is individualized and self-directed, yet highly collaborative, and supported by a broad network of peers, faculty, visiting artists, writers, and scholars, as well as community partners.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Pacific Northwest College of Art is the only college of art and design in the heart of Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, PNCA offers eleven art and design Bachelor of Fine Art programs, seven graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Community Education courses for artists and designers of all ages.