In the MFA in Creative Writing at OSU-Cascades, we teach our students the craft of writing. We also teach our students the power of community, through art. Yes, our students write novels and memoirs and collections of poetry as part of their thesis requirements. The MFA at OSU-Cascades is about so much more than the craft of creative writing, however. It’s about tuning up our humanity, through acts of the imagination. It’s about spurring new modes of thought and imagination.
And inspiring our readers to do that, too.
Because we believe growing artists is part of a human project that involves giving back to the community at large, we teach our students to work together to engage in the politics and issues of the larger world. We teaching our students that thinking imaginatively happens as much off the page as on the page and that creative writing is, as Frank O’Hara famously wrote, what happens between two persons.
"In the MFA in Creative Writing at OSU-Cascades, we learn to practice our art-making as a spiritual extension of the body. To influence the art, the body must be influenced. Which is to say that a group of poets and writers who sing together, hike together, cook and eat together, who play games together, play guitars together, paint and run and watch the moon together—their art changes because their bodies, in proximity to other creative bodies, shed a thick layer of the something that has been telling them not to create or love or be. And they are left naked and vulnerable, taking in deep breaths of a communal air and communal creativity."