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."

Lia Purpura

Lia Purpura

Nonfiction, Poetry






Mentor. Workshops and classes in nonfiction and poetry.

Statement: "Just recently, when I read David Foster Wallace's description of a phenomenon he calls 'Total Noise' ('that seething static of every particular thing and experience, and one's total freedom of infinite choice about what to choose to attend to and represent and connect, and how, and why, etc.') I felt my role as a teacher clarify and firm up anew. I want to help my students settle and still their vision and fortify their own authentic responses to the Noise that daily threatens us to overwhelm us all. The bracing joy of receiving a real, live temperament/disposition/sensibility is what I long for (and fall for) as a reader. As a mentor, I look forward to finding these moments in my students' work, studying them, marveling at them – and then, working with them, in whatever way the poem or essay requires."

Lia Purpura’s collection of poems, King Baby, won the 2007 Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books. Her collection of essays, On Looking (Sarabande Books, 2006) was a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award. Increase (essays) won the Associated Writing Programs Award and was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2000. She is also the author of Stone Sky Lifting (winner of the Ohio State University Press Award in poetry, 2000), The Brighter the Veil (poems) and Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch & Taste of Ash (translations).

Her work has appeared in many magazines, including Agni, DoubleTake, The Georgia Review, Field, The Iowa Review, Orion, Parnassus:Poetry in Review, The Paris Review and elsewhere. She recently served as Visting Writer at The University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Program, and at MFA Programs at the University of Alabama and Bennington. Her awards include an NEA Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship and three Pushcart awards. She is Writer-in-Residence at Loyola University in Baltimore, Md.