Develop your own singular voice and vision in our unique degree, the MFA in book art and creative writing.
The MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing Program, the first such program in the country, is designed to help you to develop as both a writer and a visual artist, to enhance your understanding of contemporary writing and its visual forms, and to encourage a deep exploration of the book as both a literary artifact and a material object that exists in space and time.
The MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing provides a space where you can create your own original work, contextualize that work within contemporary literary and visual art practices, and ultimately push and transform the boundaries of these fields. The degree requirements are designed to develop writers and artists who will be at the forefront of re-envisioning the relationship between a book’s form and its content.
Your two years of course work at Mills, followed by a fifth non-resident semester, will prepare you to produce a fully integrated thesis that could take the form of artists’ books, gallery installations, archival research, performance, curation, or other visual/written forms. The graduate exhibition takes place at a professional gallery in Oakland's Jack London Square. You'll share a dedicated graduate studio with the other graduate students, where you will have full-time access to a broad range of letterpress, printmaking and bookbinding equipment. Our Book Art Pocket Gallery will provide you with opportunities to curate exhibitions of your own and other work, and our Special Collections Library will give you access to a broad and deep range of rare, antiquarian and contemporary books.
You'll have the opportunity to study with renowned artists and core faculty members Kathleen Walkup and Julie Chen, and you'll work with members of Mills' distinguished faculty in creative writing: Elmaz Abinader, Micheline Marcom, Cornelia Nixon, Patricia Powell, Stephen Ratcliffe, Juliana Spahr, and Truong Tran. In addition, the Mills Book Art Program welcomes many national and international artists to its classes like Jen Bervin, Alan Loney, Liberatura (Zenon Faifer and Katarzyna Bazarnik), Daniel Kelm, and Helen Mirra. Drew Cameron of Combat Paper leads annual papermaking workshops at his San Francisco studio.
Every semester several prominent writers visit campus as part of our Contemporary Writers Series. As a student in the MFA in Book Art and Creative Writing Program, you will have the singular opportunity of working with writers such as Anne Carson, Joyce Carol Oates, Kenneth Goldsmith, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Charles Bernstein, Renee Gladman, and Eileen Myles to produce an original broadside of their writing. And you'll engage with the unparalleled network of the Bay Area book art community of institutions, libraries, museums and artists.
In short, your Mills experience will be not only one-of-a-kind, it will give you the opportunity for a truly unique graduate degree in book art and creative writing that you simply can't get anywhere else.
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