Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Stonecoast MFA poetry students walk the beach in Maine for inspiration


The Stonecoast low residency MFA is designed to take your poetry writing to the next level, whether you are exploring slam poetry, ghazals, meter and prosody, translations, political poetry, or anything in between. Delve into the roots of your craft while learning contemporary possibilities. In the words of Audre Lorde: “Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.”

Benefits of Studying Poetry at Stonecoast

  • Be challenged and supported. Expect academic rigor, but also the freedom to customize your curriculum. Explore contemporary world poetry, hybrid essays, 20th Century American, French, and British poetry, confessional poetry, international modernism, free verse, and more.
  • Work one-on-one with notable writers. Members of our faculty have won the Kingsley Tuft Poetry Award, the Kate Tuft Discovery Award, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, Guggenheim Fellowships, and been finalists for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. All of them are dedicated to mentoring emerging writers and providing personal guidance on your work.
  • Learn from different genres Learn the rules of craft and then break them. Stonecoast encourages you to explore outside of Poetry and write across multiple genres.
  • Write for inclusivity and social equity. Social justice is core to our ethos. Learn new ways of thinking about race, identity, and the environment that will embolden your writing.
  • Connect to a community of professional writers. At Stonecoast, you will build meaningful relationships, with faculty, alumni, and your student cohort, that last well into your professional writing life.

    Black and white illustration of a fountain pen with a single drop of ink making waves"I cannot stop raving about how this program is making me so accountable for my own learning. I have improved immensely as a writer."

Lester Batiste, Poetry (Summer 2016)


Join a Community of Poets

Stonecoast MFA students actively propose topics for elective workshops, ensuring that each semester’s Poetry curriculum explores the themes most relevant to your cohort. Recent topics have included:

  • Poetry In & Of Crisis
  • Correspondences in the Air: A Nimble Survey of Contemporary World Poetry
  • Be There When They Swarm Me: Writing Grief
  • Igniting Silence: Writing Poems Between History and the Personal
  • The Art of Telling
  • When Even the Details Have Details
  • Airing Dirty Laundry: Writing Poems About Family and Pissing Them Off
  • Forms & Occasions: The Limits and Liberties of Not So Free Verse

Browse the archive of seminars and workshops.


We would love to tell you more about our Stonecoast MFA community. Contact us with your questions.

Take the Next Step

Learn more about program requirements or apply now.