Poets studying in the NEOMFA program can expect variety in instruction and inspiration. Our poets write about place, and beyond place. They try new poetic forms, and then create their own systems of generation and innovation. NEOMFA poetry students are prolific writers and voracious readers. Even though the NEOMFA is a relatively new program, poetry alumni have gone on to publish books and establish a presence in the greater literary community.
Our poetry faculty members represent numerous backgrounds and sensibilities, and workshops vary from traditional to unconventional; many workshops culminate with a chapbook or portfolio of polished poetry. Craft and Theory of Poetry classes address topics such as sequencing and developing the first book of poetry, working with literary forms (both familiar and unfamiliar), studying and writing poetry of the body, and learning approaches for publication.
The NEOMFA poetry track is fortified by resources such as the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, the Wick Poetry Center, and other local reading series that bring visiting poets to the area. Recent NEOMFA guest artists in poetry have included Mark Doty, James Galvin, and Heather McHugh. NEOMFA poetry students finish the degree by writing a book-length collection of poetry as the thesis, with faculty from multiple universities as readers, and a reading to celebrate every graduate’s accomplishments.