Writing & Literature
Writing & Literature—Bachelor of Arts
The BA Writing & Literature major is a 36-credit program with a curriculum that balances writing workshops and literary studies requirements. Students take 15 credits of Writing Workshops, 18 credits of Literature courses, and, in their final semester, 3 credits of BA Thesis. This balance reflects the program’s conviction that creative writing, reading, and critical analysis must all be involved in a writer's growth.
The BA curriculum emphasizes critical study and the craft of writing. This engagement occurs through exposure to literary works from diverse social, cultural, and historical contexts and an open genre curriculum that exposes students to both traditional and experimental forms within a contemplative academic environment. This trajectory enables students to investigate a personal, intensely original writing style and to hone their skills through experimentation.
In addition to writing workshops and literature courses, the BA program encourages students to broaden their audience and see themselves as members of a larger community by offering courses in publishing, teaching, letterpress printing, and contemplative practice.
As the culminating graduation requirement of the BA degree, students complete a thesis, consisting of a creative manuscript, representing the best of their creative writing at Naropa, and a critical paper of original scholarly research. The required BA Thesis course in the final semester serves as a workshop, offering instructor and peer critique for planning, drafting, and revising the thesis.
- Summer Writing Program: a four-week-long convocation of students, poets, fiction writers, scholars, translators, performance artists, activists, Buddhist teachers, musicians, printers, editors and others working in small press publishing. Programming includes workshops, lectures, panels, readings, special events, and more.
- Professional development opportunities in letterpress printing through the Harry Smith Print Shop; publishing through Bombay Gin, the program’s literary journal; and teaching through the Project Outreach course, where students develop workshop-teaching skills in local schools and institutions.
- Numerous events and visiting faculty: What Where Series, JKS Symposium, Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow, Leslie Scalapino Memorial Lecture in Innovative Poetics, and Women of Naropa Reading Series.
- Contemplative opportunities in courses such as meditation, yoga, ikebana, or contemplative poetics.
- Innovative classes including Memoir/Antimemoir, The Hybrid, and Narrative and Architecture.