Master Writer-in-Residence Program

CCA's MFA in Writings offers a master writer-in-residence project. We invite one writer of national or international prominence in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to serve as an instructor and voice on trends and issues in writing and literature.  

During the one-week residency, the master writer conducts workshops or seminars or lectures (or any combination thereof), reads selected student manuscripts, and gives a public reading as part of the program's Writers Series schedule.

Master Writers

Anne Waldman

Spring 2016

Anne Waldman is a celebrated poet, performer, professor, editor, and cultural activist from New York’s Greenwich Village. She's a former director and founder of The Poetry project at St Marks’s Church In-the-Bowery and cofounder with Allen Ginsberg of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, where she is a Distinguished  Professor of Poetics and Artistic Director of the Summer Writing Program.

Although a generation younger, Ginsberg often referred to Waldman as his “spiritual wife” and she has been designated a “countercultural giant” by Publisher’s Weekly.

Waldman is the author of over 40 books of poetry including the book-length hybrid narrative poem Manatee/Humanity (Penguin Poets 2009) and the feminist 1,000-page epic The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House 2011), which won the 2012 PEN Center USA Award for Poetry.

She is known for her magnetizing public performances and frequently collaborates with musicians  and dancers including Meredith Monk, Thurston Moore, and her son, Ambrose Bye. 

Marlon James

Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

FALL 2015

Marlon James' most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, was awarded the 2015 Man Booker Award. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book and was recently shortlisted for the 2015 Booker Man award!

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His novel The Book of Night Women was also a Minnesota Book Award winner and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist as well as a finalist for the NAACP Image Award.

His first novel, John Crow's Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was a New York Times Editors' Choice.

His short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Granta, Harpers, and The Caribbean Review of Books.

James was born in Jamaica in 1970, and today is a professor at Macalester College and lives in Minneapolis.

Will Alexander

Spring 2015

Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, aphorist, philosopher, and visual artist. He has authored more than 20 books. A Whiting Fellow and a California Arts Council Fellow, he has also been recipient of 2007 PEN Oakland National Book Award and an American Book Award in 2013.

His works have been collected in major libraries of the world including UCLA, Harvard, The British Library, British National Bibliography, and the Bibliotheque nationale de France.  

Andrew Sean Greer

fall 2014

San Francisco-based Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli and, most recently, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.  

Mary Gaitskill

fall 2013

Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels Two Girls, Fat and Thin and Veronica as well as the story collections Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, and Don't Cry.