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."

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark






Mentor. Workshops and classes in poetry.

Statement: “One of my goals in the writing workshop is to help students enhance what is idiosyncratically best in their writing while they simultaneously try other directions. There’s a context for this kind of teaching. The short story writer Al Landwehr once told me that the act of writing well is like the act of reading the best book you’ve ever read. You are utterly transported, ecstatic. But, as Al noted, the next day you come back to your work and you realize that what you have written is not the best thing in literary history. In fact, it can’t walk; it has warts; it hacks like a consumptive. As a writing teacher, I hope to help you readily achieve the first ascendant state of creativity and quickly overcome the second deflating state of starting over. The whole enterprise need not be a jaw-clenching struggle; it should be a habitual, quotidian pleasure.”

Kevin Clark's textbook, The Mind's Eye: A Guide to Writing Poetry, was recently published by Longman. Kevin’s book, Self-Portrait with Expletives, won the 2009 Pleiades Press book contest and is distributed by LSU Press. His first full-length collection of poetry, In the Evening of No Warning, was published by New Issues Press. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and collections, including The Antioch Review, The Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, and The Iowa Review. He also won the Angoff Award from The Literary Review for best contribution in a volume year.

Clark has written essays about numerous contemporary American poets, including John Ashbery, Rita Dove, Sandra Gilbert, Sandra McPherson, Ruth Stone, and Charles Wright. His critical articles and reviews have appeared in many journals and collections, among them The Iowa Review, Papers on Language and Literature, The Southern Review, Contemporary Literary Criticism, The Georgia Review, and Poetry International. He was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where he teaches poetry writing and modern and contemporary American literature. He lives in San Luis Obispo with his family.