The Creative Writing Program at the University of La Verne challenges all students — majors, minors, passersby — to develop their craft, examine the culture around them, and expand readers’ understanding of what it means to live.
Our Major and Minor programs offer students the opportunity to practice literary creative writing through a careful study of the modes and theories of the art, as well as contemporary and historical applications. Our courses encourage students to learn and employ techniques common to the traditions of creative writing while simultaneously helping them to understand the literary and cultural contexts of their writing.
Students graduating with a Creative Writing major will be fully prepared to enter and excel in graduate creative writing studies, particularly at the MFA level. Students will also have professional experience which may help prepare them for work in publishing and advertising — for example, working on our literary journal Prism Review (through our WRT 305: Literary Magazine Staff course). Students also get a chance to meet and speak with both up-and-coming and established contemporary writers — in the last three years, our visitors have included poets Amy Newlove Schroeder, Brent Armendinger, Genevieve Kaplan, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Jen Hofer, Tony Barnstone, Ralph Angel, and Maggie Nelson, and fiction writers Michael Jaime Becerra, Bryan Hurt, Richard Lange, Aimee Bender, and Larry Fondation. All of this immerses students in the life of writing: it gives them models to aspire to, prepares students for teamwork, instructs them in editing and assessing manuscripts, and gives them the chance to create a current, relevant literary publication. Beyond careers in writing and writing-related fields, all our creative writing classes stress the need for analytical thinking: to be successful writers, students must learn and be able to integrate abstracts concepts, learned knowledge, and reflections on everyday life, and they must integrate all of this into small and self-contained systems.
On a drizzly November day, wonderful poet, essayist, and critic Maggie Nelson visited with creative writing students and read from her creative works (this a day after Ed Ruscha stopped by to consider the wonderful new exhibit in Carlson Gallery). Ms. Nelson talked about her writing process and how it’s shifted as she’s become more confident in her abilities, the lessening madness of being a writer, and Wittgenstein (but not his poker). Our own (graduate) Margo Cash gave a great introduction.