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The Creative Writing Program

2022 New Student ReadingABOUT The CWP

The Creative Writing Program at the University of Georgia is a residential program that directs and supports the emergence of the artistic voice in print by offering a Ph.D. in English with a creative dissertation. Our students are encouraged to develop a course of research that complements their writing practice and prepares them professionally for a teaching career at the university or college level. Our program fosters serious conversations among our students about aesthetics and criticism, experience and culture, and politics and history—not only in the classroom but through public readings and lectures. Our faculty and students play an active role in the cultural life of Athens, both as artists and organizers.

Program Overview

During the first two years of study our Ph.D. candidates select from course offerings in the English Department, seminars that signal both our faculty’s recognition of intellectual and disciplinary change and our abiding commitment to traditional literary history. Though CWP students may choose to study earlier periods of literature, as scholars of the practice most students typically choose seminars in Twentieth-Century American, British Literature, Multicultural Literature, African American Literature, Native Literary Studies, and Critical Theory. Each student takes at least one Creative Writing course a year.

Prior to beginning their third year CWP students prepare reading lists for comprehensive exams in three fields. Students create a “Forms and Crafts” list in their selected genre plus lists in two other fields of their choice. Currently CWP students are electing to take comprehensive exams in fields such as “A Global History of the Novel, ” "The Dialogic Lyric," "Ecopoetics," “The Southern Novel,” “Latino/a Literature,” “African American Literature,” “Translation Theory,” and  "Twenty-first Century American Poetry.” Most students take their exams in the spring of their third year.

During their fourth and fifth years CWP students complete a creative dissertation with a critical introduction. The dissertation typically is a full-length work in a single genre—a work of fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry. The introduction is the author’s scholarly address to her audience. In the past students have used the introduction as manifesto, a meditation on process, a tracing of literary influence, or an analysis of the state of the genre. 

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