MFA in Book Art & Creative Writing
Develop your own singular voice and vision in a unique program combining book art and creative writing. Access the renowned letterpress, printmaking, and bookbinding resources of the Eucalyptus Press and Florence Walter Bindery.
About the Program
The master of fine arts (MFA) in book art and creative writing, the first such degree 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 thesis exhibition takes place at a professional gallery in Oakland.
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 our distinguished faculty in creative writing. In addition, the Mills Book Art Program welcomes to its classes many national and international artists, 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’ll have the singular opportunity of working with these writers 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.
You’ll connect with fellow creative writing students and a vibrant local and national literary community through many other literary activities on and off campus. In addition, the English Department offers professional development in teaching, publishing, and performance.
Both need-based scholarships and partial-tuition graduate assistantships are available
for graduate English students. We also offer a small number of competitive full-tuition
fellowships to applicants entering the MFA and MA programs. Learn more about special funding opportunities for graduate English students.