MAPH encourages you to develop your artistic practice in the context of rigorous critical inquiry. MAPH’s innovative structure and multidisciplinary approach to creative practice allow students to work with scholars and artists at the top of their fields.
MAPH is different from a traditional MFA. Though studio work, workshops, and critiques are elements of a year doing creative work in MAPH, students undertaking a creative project also complete academic courses that challenge the theoretical and artistic boundaries of their practice. Beyond the University of Chicago, MAPH has strong ties to a range of artistic and cultural institutions, including offering paid internships at the Smart Museum, Adventure Stage, and Browne and Miller Literary Agency.
Creative Writers and Artists in MAPH Can:
 
  • Participate in the Creative Writing Option, tailored to their specific interests
  • Work with faculty members from Creative Writing, Visual Arts, and Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) who are engaged in contemporary practice as well as the many faculty who research artistic practice in their own work
  • Attend the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (AWP) alongside faculty and alumni
  • Connect with alumni authors at readings and other events
  • Participate in Colloquium, the MAPH student and alumni journal, as contributors or Editorial Fellows
Selected MAPH Artists and Writers
 
Korey Williams
"Composing 'The Harder Parts' was an act not only of hope but also of integration, the coming together of lyric and narrative, compression and expansion, memoir and fiction, research and poiesis. MAPH provided, for me, the intellectually stimulating environment necessary for pursuing such difficult work."
Korey Williams
MAPH'14
 
 
afterMAPH: Alumni Profiles
 
Emily Dendinger
Emily Dendinger
MAPH'08
Playwright
Hideous Progeny
I started my MAPH year unsure of what I wanted my next career step to be. I was already pursuing a life as a playwright, but I thought that perhaps I wanted to get a PhD in English. The interdisciplinary nature of the MAPH program appealed to me, and I was excited by the prospect of exploring a variety of different subjects from both a creative and analytical point of view. While I quickly learned I was not interested in a career in academia, my playwriting began to thrive during MAPH in new and exciting ways. I took a class examining the English Victorian novel that had a direct impact on my storytelling and narrative skills. I also pursued an independent study about Mary Shelley and the Romantic poets that lead to the development of my thesis, a play titled Hideous Progeny. That play has now had several productions and helped me get into the University of Iowa's Playwright's Workshop, where I received my MFA in May 2014. One of the greatest gifts I learned from the MAPH program was how to ask the big, complicated questions that often appeal to academics, but approach them with the fresh and creative eyes of a writer.
 
Gregory Lawless
Gregory Lawless
MAPH'04
Author
Foreclosure and I Thought I was New Year
I long ago destroyed all of the poems that I wrote during MAPH, and I hope to never see them again. They were failures, but they were productive failures, I think, which ultimately led to poems I didn't want to throw away. MAPH is a great place for productive failure, for the kind of intense, chaotic artistic and intellectual experiments that lead not just to learning but transformation. Today, I feel that all of the poems I don't throw away, those few that survive, were somehow born during that time.
You can read some of Greg's poetry in Colloquium, and his reflections on the first print issue.
 
Korey Williams
Korey Williams
MAPH'14
Poet
"The Harder Parts"
Composing 'The Harder Parts' was an act not only of hope but also of integration, the coming together of lyric and narrative, compression and expansion, memoir and fiction, research and poiesis. MAPH provided, for me, the intellectually stimulating environment necessary for pursuing such difficult work.
Korey was a winner of the 2014 MAPH Thesis Awards with "The Harder Parts." Read Korey's thesis in its entirety on Colloquium.