Major in Creative Writing
Options: Nonfiction, Poetry
The Creative Nonfiction Concentration in Creative Writing is now an official major at Columbia College. We offer a full sequence of courses in nonfiction writing and reading, literature classes, and electives in the English Department and in other disciplines at Columbia. Creative nonfiction is an open field encompassing the personal essay, autobiography and memoir, letters and diaries, travel writing, etc . . . .
The undergraduate poetry major at Columbia College is the first of its kind in the country. Poetry workshops have been an important part of instruction at Columbia College since its inception. Its distinguished faculty has included Gwendolyn Brooks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Paul Carroll, the noted Chicago poet and editor of the literary magazine Big Table.
The goal of the poetry program is to develop the poetry writing skills of students and to help them gain a greater creative, critical, and aesthetic understanding of their discipline. The program does this through a sequence of poetry workshops (beginning, intermediate, and advanced); poetry literature classes; a poetry reading series that has included such distinguished figures as Allen Ginsberg, Robert Hass, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jorie Graham, Amiri Baraka, and Rita Dove; and our nationally distributed poetry magazine, Columbia Poetry Review, which is edited by students and published in the spring of each year. Each issue contains the work of poets with national reputation such as Barbara Guest, Amiri Baraka, and Alice Notley, as well as the best student writing submitted to the review. With a circulation now at 3,500 copies an issue, the magazine is available at bookstores and newstands nationally. In association with the Academy of American Poets, we offer the Eileen Lannan Poetry Prize to the best student poetry produced each year. Each April the Poetry Program hosts the Citywide Undergraduate Poetry Reading, featuring appearances by student poets from the leading Chicago-area colleges and universities