Breaking down the walls between studio and liberal arts
When you study creative writing at KCAI, you’ll work closely with innovative, accomplished writers to develop a literary practice that complements and deepens your education as an artist. You’ll experience engaged, passionate teaching and risk-taking writing, grounded in literary fundamentals.
Through small classes, independent studies, literary internships and opportunities with distinguished visiting writers, you’ll develop talent and confidence as a writer. KCAI’s award-winning literary magazine, Sprung Formal, enables students to practice real-world editing and publishing skills, while our selection of classes in fiction, poetry, writerly nonfiction, screenwriting and cross-genre writing provide you with the skills to work in the forms you choose.
Creative writing at KCAI offers you a unique experience to integrate your writing and your studio practice while providing a rigorous intellectual framework in literature, aesthetics and philosophy. Our program goes beyond the workshop to develop writers who are thinkers and artists and whose work will change the world.
“The faculty are astonishing. They are very committed to their practices and also to developing students’ practices.”Crista Siglin
Creative Writing/Painting, 2015
Phyllis Moore, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair
Dr. Phyllis Moore is the author of A Compendium of Skirts, a collection of short stories (Carroll & Graf, 2002). She is Chair of the Liberal Arts Department, Program Head of the Creative Writing Program, and co-director of the Paris Study Abroad Program. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her stories have been listed in the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her stories and poems have been reprinted in various anthologies and special editions, and she is the recipient of five arts council grants from the states of Illinois and Florida. She is presently at work on a book of minute fiction titled The City Wife. In 2011, she was honored with KCAI’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Anne Boyer, M.F.A.
A widely-published poet and essayist, Anne Boyer has been teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute since 2007. Her latest book, Garments Against Women (Ahsahta, 2015) spent four months as the Small Press Distribution number one best seller in poetry. Recent essays have appeared in Guernica, Fullstop, The New Inquiry, and Mute Magazine. Her teaching areas include experimental writing, aesthetics, gender studies, and digital culture. Critical appraisal of Boyer’s contributions to poetry and poetics is discussed in Piotr K. Gwiasdá’s 2014 book, U.S. Poetry in the Age of Empire, 1979-2012. She was voted “Best Writer” of 2014 in The Pitch’s annual “Best of Kansas City” issue. Boyer earned an M.F.A. with distinction in creative writing in 1997 from Wichita State University and a B.A. degree in English literature in 1996 from Kansas State University. Before coming to KCAI, she taught creative writing and literature at Drake University in Des Moines. Author website: http://www.anneboyer.com
Cyrus Console-Soican, Ph.D.
Cyrus Console-Şoican is the author of Brief Under Water (Burning Deck, 2008), for which he received a Fund for Poetry award, The Odicy (Omnidawn, 2011), and Romanian Notebook (forthcoming from Faber/FSG). Recent poetry has appeared in Boston Review, Critical Quarterly, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Seattle Review, and No: a journal of the arts, where he served as contributing editor 2002-2009. He holds a B.S. degree in organismal biology from the University of Kansas, an M.F.A. degree in writing from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College, and a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Kansas, where his poetry won several notable prizes.
Trey Hock explores the markers of narrative through short film, screenwriting, installation, photography, performance and web-based social media platforms. His work interrogates the assumed physical and social constructions that surround us. These include narrative storytelling, the photographic frame, public and private spaces, and personal identity. His short films have shown at Sundance and other international film festivals. He is currently working across platform through Instagram, printed photographic works, and installation to explore the power of the Selfie. Hock received his B.A. in English, Creative Writing from Kansas State University in 1997, and his M.F.A. in Writing and Directing for Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007.
Rush Rankin, M.F.A.
Rush Rankin, who joined the KCAI faculty in 1975, teaches creative writing, fiction, poetry and aesthetic philosophy. Rankin earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University; a M.A.C.T. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and an M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa. He has many published works of fiction, essays and poetry. As a tribute to his teaching, he was selected to the National Faculty of the Union of Independent Colleges of Art in 1980. Rankin’s story “Smart Men,” which was published by TriQuarterly in 1982, was listed as “distinguished” by “Best American Short Stories,” 1983. Rankin’s book, “Bene-Dictions,” selected by Rosanna Warren, won the Vassar Miller Prize.
Ben Furnish, PH.D.
Ben Furnish (Ph.D., theatre and film, University of Kansas; M.A., English, University of Missouri-Kansas City; M.Ed., Harvard University) is the author of Nostalgia in Jewish-American Theatre and Film, 1979-2004 (Lang), and he has contributed to such journals and books as Studies in Jewish Civilization, Holocaust Literature, Yiddish Poets and the Soviet Union, Jews & Sex, and Dictionary of Literary Biography. He has presented conference papers at Film & History, Literature & Film Association, and at international symposia sponsored by Oxford, Heidelberg, and Harvard universities. He is managing editor of BkMk Press, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and books he has edited have received attention from major awards and reviewers. His grant proposals in literary publishing have received funding from the Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Jordan Stempleman, M.F.A.
Jordan Stempleman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where he was a Leggett Schupes Fellow in Poetry. In addition to lecturing at KCAI, he is the author of eight books of poetry including Wallop and No, Not Today (Magic Helicopter Press). He co-edits The Continental Review, a video-only forum for contemporary poetry and poetics, and serves as the faculty advisor for KCAI’s literary magazine, Sprung Formal. Since 2010, he has curated A Common Sense Reading Series, which pairs KCAI creative writing students with established writers. In 2013, The Huffington Post listed Stempleman as one of “The Top 200 Advocates of American Poetry.”
Whether you major or double-major in creative writing, you will have over 50 courses to choose from to meet your requirements. For additional electives and liberal arts courses download the complete course catalog.
- 4 workshops
- 4 literature classes
- 1 aesthetics class
Other ways to earn your creative writing degree requirements:
- Directed individual study
- Study abroad programs
Distinguished writer workshops
Each spring, KCAI’s Creative Writing Program invites a distinguished writer to campus to conduct workshops with creative writing majors and double-majors, as well as to give public readings and lectures. In spring 2016, we will host Fred Moten, a poet, theorist and National Book Award for Poetry Finalist.
Creative writing students work on KCAI’s two publications — Sprung Formal and The Compendium.
KCAI’s award-winning literary magazine, Sprung Formal (originally Spring Formal) is designed, edited and produced by students, who solicit writers from all over the world for the magazine’s text.
The Compendium is a compilation of writing and artwork submitted by graduating creative writing and art history seniors. It is designed, edited and produced entirely by students. Contributors read excerpts from their work at the H&R Block Artspace as part of the B.F.A. exhibition.
BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is an award-winning literary press that publishes an average of six titles a year and sponsors two annual publication awards for the best submitted book-length manuscript. KCAI students interning at BkMk Press work with Managing Editor Ben Furnish on every aspect of the publishing process, from editing to designing book covers.
New Letters on the Air is the radio companion to the literary magazine New Letters. The program airs weekly conversations with contemporary writers. Interns also work on all aspects of producing this show, from writing press releases to researching writers visiting the area.
Shakespeare & Co. in Paris was first opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919. Beach is responsible for fostering and publishing work by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. KCAI students have the chance to intern at the bookstore and take their “Travel Writing” class, as part of KCAI’s Paris Study Abroad Program.