Division of HumanitiesMFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Rainier Writing Workshop


"I am impressed with the caliber, commitment, and generosity of the faculty. Their willingness to engage with us in and out of our classroom made this experience unlike any other I've had."

Fleda Brown

Fleda Brown

Poetry, Nonfiction






Mentor. Workshops and classes in poetry and nonfiction.

Statement: "I've taught many kinds of workshops--one-shot 3-hour sessions, weekend retreats, and semester-long creative writing classes. Sometimes students come into a workshop simply wanting a push, sometimes they need help finding their voices. Everyone talks about 'finding a voice,' as if we all knew what this means. We don’t. I don’t. What I can do in a workshop is to help students allow themselves to be clumsy, foolish, and sometimes nuts in their writing, while loosely hanging onto the reins. What are the reins? I don't know that, either, but we can figure it out by looking closely at the best work we can get our hands on. No one ever had a 'voice' that came from nowhere. It develops partly from bouncing off other voices—the ones in the workshop, and the ones on the page. I dearly love being around when the bounce lands in new territory."


Fleda Brown’s eighth collection of poems, No Need of Sympathy, was published by BOA Editions, LTD in 2013. Her collection of essays, with Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives, also came out in 2013 from Autumn House Books.  Her memoir is Driving With Dvorak (University of Nebraska Press, 2010).  Fleda’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry, has won a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award.  Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Southern Poetry Review, American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, and many other journals and anthologies, and they have been used as texts for several prizewinning musical compositions performed at Eastman School of Music, Yale University, and by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.  She has won the New Letters and the Ohio State Univ/The Journal awards for creative nonfiction.  She has written on teaching poetry and on the craft of writing, and she is co-editor of Critical Essays on D.H. Lawrence (G.K. Hall). She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware, where she taught for 27 years and directed the Poets in the Schools program. She was poet laureate of Delaware from 2001-07.  She and her husband now live in Traverse City, Michigan.