Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Amanda Johnston

Poetry, Writing for Social Change

Office Location

Stonecoast MFA Office - 98 Bedford Street, Portland, ME 04012



Academic Degrees

  • M.F.A.,Stonecoast, University of Southern Maine


Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. Her poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Poetry, Callaloo, Kinfolks Quarterly, Muzzle, Pluck! and the anthologies, Small Batch, di-ver-city and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. The recipient of multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, she is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Johnston is a Stonecoast MFA faculty member, a co-founder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founding executive director of Torch Literary Arts.

Areas of Expertise

Writing for Social Justice

Areas of Scholarship

Poetry, micro fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays.


Call & Response: Poetry of Witness and Resistance

What makes a poem political? What’s at stake when writing about (or avoiding) subjects that might be considered political? This seminar will examine poems of resistance from the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Attendees will look at work that directly and indirectly responds to social justice issues.

Required Reading/Viewing:

A PDF packet of poems will be shared in advance.

Online video poems,

Professional Activity

Cave Canem Foundation Board of Directors

Affrilachian Poets, Member