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MA Certificate in Innovative Writing


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The MA Certificate in Innovative Writing presents a unique form of graduate study in creative writing, closely intertwining the practice of writing with literary and aesthetic inquiries.

Our Mission

Our program creates a collaborative space in which we reflect on the ethical and political implications of creative writing within the matrix of global citizenship; tease out evident and obscured connections between contemporary and historical texts; consider how aesthetic concerns are inflected by various systems of power; and create rigorous, sensuous, contentious—above all, evocative—forms of writing that embody imaginative and forward-thinking strategies.  

Our hope is to create an environment in which new forms of writing will flourish. Poetry. Fiction. Hybrid forms. Digital and electronic media. However innovation takes place.

Informed by UB’s long history of innovation in the arts, the writing workshops and literature seminars in the MA Certificate in Innovative Writing arise from our faculty’s shared belief that writing engages with—and intervenes in—the worlds we inhabit as much as the identities we pose and perform; that writing is a situation layered by critical examination, inventive thought, wild speculation, complex, often paradoxical feelings, multiple, entangled media platforms and social circuits, differing perceptions of time, and an ongoing translation of languages, as much as people and cultures. 

Our MA Certificate invites you to view writing as an investigative, exploratory process in its own right: a mode of inquiry that, at its best, can articulate and rearticulate diverse experiences of 21 century culture, and unearth, perhaps even overturn, our most foundational thoughts—freeing them for profound imaginative work. 

Our Community

Students in the MA in Innovative Writing Certificate program immerse themselves in a mentorship community of faculty and students that begins with each student and their work. Our aim is to create a culture of writing activated by conversations with a cohort of fellow thinkers and makers, to offer our writers conditions where they can begin to write what they might not have been able to write alone. Above all, to give students skills to keep on writing long after they leave the formal space of the workshop.

Workshops and seminars in the MA in Innovative Writing program are enhanced by the MA and PhD communities at the University at Buffalo and the English Department’s distinctive Poetics Plus and Exhibit X Fiction Series. Our award-winning guests include: Caroline Bergvall, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Mary Caponegro, Miles Champion, Robert Coover, Kathryn Davis,  Lydia Davis, Samuel R. Delany, Brian Evenson, Percival Everett, Renee Gladman, Lyn Hejinian, Yunte Huang, Laird Hunt, Susan Howe, Shelley Jackson, Tan Lin, Nathaniel Mackey, Ben Marcus, Carole Maso, Bernadette Mayer, Tom McCarthy, Fred Moten, Lisa Robertson, Juliana Spahr, Lynne Tillman, Steve Tomasula, Cecilia Vicuna, Rosmarie Waldrop, and Diane Williams.

Our Degree

Graduate students who enroll in our one-year program earn an MA in English in addition to a Certificate in Innovative Writing. Certificate students register for writing workshops, literature seminars, and write a creative thesis. Our unique MA degree can be particularly useful for students who are interested in enhancing their writing portfolios and/or their critical and literary backgrounds before applying to MFA and PhD programs. The MA in English is greatly valued as a continuing degree—a step toward future graduate study—as well as a credential for writing related careers.


Graduate courses in the Innovative Writing program consists of 18 credits distributed as 4 courses.

  1. English 547: "Fall Workshop Colloquium in Fiction” (6 crs.) OR English 549: "Fall Workshop Colloquium in Poetry” (6 crs.)
  2. English 548: "Spring Fiction Workshop” (3 crs.) OR English 550: "Spring Poetry Workshop” (3 crs.)
  3. English 502: "Introduction to Critical and Cultural Theory” (3 crs.)
  4. English 598: "Creative Project Guidance” (6 crs.)

Students enrolling in the MA in Innovative Writing Certificate Program take 4 elective seminars in addition to the above courses.

Students enrolling only in the Certificate in Innovative Writing--in addition to other degree programs elsewhere at UB--take only the above 4 courses.

Our Faculty


Judith Goldman
Myung Mi Kim


Dimitri Anastasopoulos
Christina Milletti

How Do I Apply

Apply Online

Undergraduates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the MA.
This program offers no financial assistance.

Rolling Admissions Period opens February 1.

Contact Us

Dimitri Anastasopoulos

Dimitri Anastasopoulos

Associate Professor, Director of Creative Writing


429 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0689; Fax: (716) 645-5980