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Creative writing programs texas

Creative Writing Program

The CWP offers writers intensive training in both creative writing and literary studies.

Meet our faculty and staff.
CWP student, alumni, and faculty spotlight.
Get to know Houston.
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Wondering what kind of financial support students can expect?

Here’s a brief overview.

The faculty and staff of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program work hard to ensure that their students have a rich and engaging graduate education. The staff provides support for both faculty and students, and the faculty are dedicated to providing a graduate education that helps their students grow as writers and people of letters. Through workshops, independent studies, and literature courses, the faculty work with students to challenge their understanding of themselves as writers and to deepen and critically reflect on the aesthetic, ethical, and political assumptions behind their writing. The faculty and staff seek, above all else, to provide students with a community in which writers can flourish.

Our students and alumni have had book-length works and collections published by Alice James Books, Copper Canyon Press, FiveChapter Books, Four Way Books, Graywolf Press, Harper Perennial, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New Issues Poetry Press, Penguin Press, St. Martin’s Press, Tin House Books, Riverhead, and University of Iowa Press, among others. Their books, poems, stories, and essays have garnered an impressive array of accolades.


George Henson and Daniel Saldaña ParÍs

Brazos Bookstore and Third Place Books welcome translator George Henson and Mexican writer Daniel Saldaña París discussing Henson’s translation of The Love Parade by Sergio Pitol, “one of Mexico’s most culturally complex and composite writers.” (Publishers Weekly)

George Henson is a translator of contemporary Latin American prose and a 2021-2023 Tulsa Artist Fellow. His eight book-length translations include Cervantes laureate Elena Poniatowska’s The Heart of the Artichoke, Luis Jorge Boone’s The Cannibal Night, Alberto Chimal’s The Most Fragile Objects, and Cervantes laureate Sergio Pitol’s The Art of Flight, The Journey, The Magician of Vienna, Mephisto’s Waltz: Selected Short Stories, and, most recently, The Love Parade.

Daniel Saldaña París is a novelist, essayist, and poet. Author of the novels Among Strange Victims (Coffee House Press, 2016) and Ramifications (Coffee House Press, 2020), he was recently awarded the Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writers Award in the UK. His collection of personal essays Planes Flying Over a Monster is forthcoming next year.


Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Cameron Dezen Hamon, Robbie Howell, Gabriella Adriana Iacono, Adele Elise Williams

The Gulf Coast reading series presents the poetry and prose of UH graduate students, paired with prominent featured visiting writers, at Lawndale Art Center. Participating students come from the MFA and PhD programs in Creative Writing.

Gulf Coast Reading Series featuring Cameron Dezen Hamon, Robbie Howell, Gabriella Adriana Iacono, Adele Elise Williams


Joshua Nguyen reads from Come Clean

Thursday, January 20, 7pm
(Zoom link: Brazos Bookstore)

Joshua Nguyen will be presenting with Ariana Brown and Ayokunle Falomo.

Joshua Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese-American writer, a collegiate national poetry slam champion (CUPSI), and a native Houstonian. He is the author of the chapbook, “American Lục Bát for My Mother” (Bull City Press, 2021) and has received fellowships from Kundiman, Tin House, Sundress Academy For The Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. His debut poetry collection, “Come Clean” (University of Wisconsin Press), was the winner of the 2021 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. He is a PhD student at The University of Mississippi, where he also received his MFA.

Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from the Southside of San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the poetry collections We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020). Ariana’s work investigates queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, Black relationality and girlhood, loneliness, and care.

Ayokunle Falomo is Nigerian, American, and the author of African, American (New Delta Review, 2019) and two self-published collections. A recipient of fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell, his work has been anthologized and published in print and online, including The New York Times, Houston Public Media, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Texas Review, New England Review, Write About Now among others.


Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series featuring Honoree Fanonne Jeffers & Tiphanie Yanique

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Tiphanie Yanique will give brief readings from their new novels The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois and Monster in the Middle.

Raised throughout the South, Jeffers is the author of five award-winning poetry collections including The Gospel Barbecue, Outlandish Blues, and Red Clay Suite. Her fifth collection The Age of Phillis was nominated for the National Book Award, the PEN/Voelcker Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the NAACP Image Award.

A former Houstonian, Tiphanie Yanique received an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship while earning an MFA from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. With the publication of her debut short story collection How to Escape a Leper Colony, Yanique was named to the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “5 Under 35” list. Yanique’s first novel Land of Love and Drowning won the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Welcome to the Creative Writing Department

The Creative Writing Department at UTEP offers the only Bilingual MFA in the world. We understand bilingualism not as the requirement that our students speak Spanish and English but rather as the coexistence of both languages in the classroom. Students from las Americas and Europe come to our department to develop as writers under the guidance of an award-winning faculty. Our department also offers an online MFA in Creative Writing. In addition to our residential faculty, our online program offers classes and workshop by well-known visiting writers such as Heather Hartley, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Natalie Diaz, Liz Sched and Dennis Bush.

Bienvenidos al Departamento de Creación Literaria

El Departamento de Creación Literaria de UTEP ofrece la única Maestría Bilingüe en Creación Literaria en el mundo. Entendemos el biligüismo no como el requerimiento que nuestros estudiantes hablen español e inglés sino como la coexistencia de los dos idiomas en el aula de clase. Estudiantes de las Américas y Europa llegan a nuestras aulas para desarrollarse como escritores bajo la guía de una plana docente que ha recibido muchos premios literarios. Nuestro departamento también ofrece una Maestría en Creacíón Literaria en línea. Además de nuestros profesores permanentes, nuestro programa en línea ofrece clases y talleres por reconocidos escritores tales como Heather Hartley, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Natalie Diaz, Liz Sched y Dennis Bush.



  • Professor José de Piérola, in collaboration with Sun Cok, published a translation of Dracula by Bram Stoker with Lluvia Editores.
  • Current Online MFA’s student Ana Lucía Cagnoli was awarded third place in the Concurso de Letras del Fondo Nacional de las Artes (Argentina) for her book Media y extrema razón. More info, here.
  • Former CRW Master Program’s student Saúl Hernández won the 2021 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize.
  • Former CRW Master Program’s student María Isabel Pachón Varón won the Premio Internacional de Novela Breve “Rosario Castellanos” 2021 by her novel Sobre tierra quemada.

Foto: María Ramos Pacheco

  • Former CRW Master Program’s student David Cruz won the Premio Internacional Manuel Acuña 2020 by his poetry book Lazarus. To read The Prospector interview, click here .
  • Current CRW Master Program’s student Alaíde Ventura won the Premio Maurizio Achar by her novel Entre los rotos. Read an interview here.

To foster the appreciation and practice of writing, the Department of Creative Writing is launching its “2020 Bilingual Creative Writing Awards.” The competition, open to all graduate students, will accept original, unpublished work. The prizes will include a monetary award, an award letter, and publication.

Foto: Andrés D’Elia

Colombian writer Óscar Godoy Barbosa, former CRW Master Program’s student, recently won the Premio Ñ-Ciudad de Buenos Aires 2019 by his last novel Te acuerdas del mar awarded by the prestigious Argentinian journal Clarín. This book addresses the life as a sequel of the guerrilla violence and its implications.

Very recently, Professor Paula Cucurella has had the opportunity of presenting parts of the research for her book (tentative title: Poetry in Times of War. The Literary Maxim) at The American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual conference. Some poems and paintings from Dr. Cucurella’s first —and still unpublished—poetry book were published on the online literary magazine Marcapiel, issued recently in February. In the same magazine, Cucurella published an interview with David Johnson (University of New York at Buffalo). In addition, with occasion of the anniversary of Nicanor Parra’s death, the Chilean news site, published Cucurella’s column“La Antipoesía: una poesía pasivo-agresiva”, where she highlights the sexist and homophobic aspects of Nicanor Parra’s poetry

Professor Lex Williford was recently chosen as a Mentor for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) for Spring 2019. AWP’s mentorship program, Writer to Writer, matches emerging writers and published authors for a three-month series of modules on topics such as craft, revision, publishing, and the writing life. Prof. Williford has also served two years as a member of the Fellows Council for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), which serves as a point of communication between Fellows and the VCCA board and administration, advising the board regarding matters of vital importance to Fellows in residence.

Prof. Williford ’s novella, Balsa and Tissue Paper, is also forthcoming in Fall 2019 as a Ploughshares Solo, both as an ebook and part of the long-form perfect-bound edition of Ploughshares , edited by Ladette Randolph, who founded the series to create a venue for writers of novellas and longer-form creative nonfiction

Professor Sasha Pimentel, from CRW Program, has been awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry by the National Endowment of the Arts, which supports our nation’s poets and encourages a wide range of voices and styles.

Our professors Rosa Alcala, and Tim Hernandez were inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL), a nonprofit honor society that recognizes and celebrates literature in Texas. Induction is based on literary accomplishments, according to the group’s website. The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most respected writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism and scholarship.


Demasiada luz para hacer poesía by Paula Cucurella with a prologue by Jacques Lezra and images by Felipe Cooper, is a hybrid poetic work (poetry, vignettes, narratives, images) that explores scenes that border and exhort absence and resistance in language. This book coordinates various techniques to highlight a limit, a point of contact, relationships, borders and edges, where language in its communicative function unravels inviting its re-articulation.

Balsa and Tissue Paper by Lex Williford. Ploughshares is an award-winning journal of new writing. Since 1971, Ploughshares has discovered and cultivated the freshest voices in contemporary American literature, and now provides readers with thoughtful and entertaining literature in a variety of formats. Find out why the New York Times named Ploughshares “the Triton among minnows.”

Entre los rotos by Alaíde Ventura (Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, 2019) is a novel about the intimacy of violence, the complicity between siblings and the labyrinth, whether gloomy or bright, that every memory is.

Kafka in a Skirt is not your ordinary short story collection. In his newest work, Daniel Chacón subverts expectation and breaks down the walls of reality to create stories that are intriguing, hilarious, and deeply rooted in Chicano culture.

On En las praderas del fin del mundo (Valparaíso Ediciones, 2019), Andrea Cote pursuits her self-knowledge through a reflexive, but evocative verse.

Fabulations by José de Piérola (New York: Kernpukt Press, 2018). Flowers that grow from light bulbs. Bullets stopped by an iPod. A ship and woman taken apart piece by piece. Fabulations is a collection of minimalist short stories that straddle history and fiction, fact and imagination.

New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña edited by Rosa Alcalá (Kelsey Street Press, 2018). Cecilia Vicuña has embodied a life of political and social activism through poetry, visual art, film and performance. New and Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña is a telling of old cultures, modern nation states and lives in exile.

All They Will Call You by Tim Z. Hernandez (The University of Arizona Press, 2018), is the harrowing account of “the worst airplane disaster in California’s history,” which claimed the lives of thirty-two passengers, including twenty-eight Mexican citizens—farmworkers who were being deported by the U.S. government.

Connect With Us

The University of Texas at El Paso
Department of Creative Writing
Education Building, Room 901

Creative Writing at UT

The New Writers Project at the University of Texas at Austin is a small, fully-funded, three-year studio MFA program within the large and highly-ranked Department of English . We offer our students close mentorship, literary community, and teaching and editing experience.

For more information about the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing and how to apply, please visit the New Writers Project website.


The Creative Writing Certificate is intended for any undergraduate University student interested in advanced study of creative writing, both as reader and as writer.

Department of English

University of Texas at Austin
204 W 21st Street B5000
Calhoun Hall, Room 226
Austin, Texas 78712-1164