The Committee on Creative Writing
Students at Chicago pursue creative writing within the larger context of academic study. While the purpose of the program is, above all, to give students a rigorous background in the fundamentals of creative work by providing them with the opportunity to study with established poets and prose writers, it differs from the professional, free-standing creative writing programs at other universities in seeing itself as an integral part of the university’s intellectual life, and most particularly in providing opportunities for interdisciplinary work. A playwright working through the University Theater under the auspices of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities may take writing workshops in fiction or poetry as part of developing scripts. Students in the visual arts join forces with writers in work on graphic novels. And students in non-English languages and literatures may find themselves taking not only literature courses but also poetry or fiction writing workshops as part of developing translation projects. It is this commitment to interdisciplinary work, coupled with the program’s insistence on teaching the elements of creative writing that underlie all genres, that accounts for the program’s vitality, and explains why creative writing at Chicago is currently the largest Humanities initiative for the College.