Creative Writing

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

Full-time Faculty

Phyllis Moore, Ph.D.

Professor, Chair of the Liberal Arts Department, and Program Head of the Creative Writing Program

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.

Associate Professor

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 bestseller 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:


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 (FSG, 2017). Recent poetry has appeared in BrickCritical QuarterlyHarper’s, and Paris Review.  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.


Jordan Stempleman

Associate Professor

Jordan Stempleman is the author of nine collections of poetry including Cover Songs (the Blue Turn), Wallop, and No, Not Today (Magic Helicopter Press). He is the co-editor of The Continental Review, editor for Windfall Room, faculty advisor for KCAI’s literary arts magazine Sprung Formal, and curator of A Common Sense Reading Series. Stempleman is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where he was a Leggett Schupes Fellow in Poetry. And in 2013, The Huffington Post listed him as one of “The Top 200 Advocates of American Poetry.”

Author website:


Whether you major, minor, 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 Creative Writing workshops
  • 5 literature classes

Other ways to earn your creative writing degree requirements:

  • Internships
  • Directed individual study
  • Study abroad programs

Double Major Creative Writing & Studio Requirements

Creative Writing Major & Studio Minor requirements

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.

Student publications

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.