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."

Peggy  Shumaker

Peggy Shumaker

Poetry, Nonfiction






Mentor. Workshops and classes in poetry and nonfiction.

Statement: "Language is one way we make our way in the world. Our intensive sessions will involve writing new material for poems and working on drafts we've generated. We'll also practice reading as writers – looking at poems and prose to find tools we can adapt for our own uses. My own work comes from two deserts – the Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and the subarctic desert of Interior Alaska. Most of my poems depend on images and sounds to create their worlds. Right now I'm at work on a nonfiction book and a book of new poems." http://www.borealbooks.org/


Bachelor of Arts, University of Arizona

Master of Fine Arts, University of Arizona

Peggy Shumaker's books of poems include Underground Rivers (Red Hen Press), Wings Moist from the Other World and The Circle of Totems (Pitt), Braided River (Limner Press), and Esperanza's Hair (U. Alabama Press). Blaze, a poetry/painting collaboration with the Alaska artist Kes Woodward, was published in 2005 by Red Hen Press. Her memoir, Just Breathe Normally, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2007. Her essays have appeared in such journals as Prairie Schooner and Ascent.

She has won a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several awards for teaching. She is professor emerita from University of Alaska Fairbanks. Peggy Shumaker grew up in Tucson, and earned her BA and her MFA from University of Arizona.  She worked for years doing residencies for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, with prison inmates, honors students, gang members, deaf adults, teen parents, little kids and elderly folks. She has given readings in art galleries, a governor’s mansion, a clearing in the woods, an abandoned bank, on reservations, in libraries, at a gold dredge, under the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon, on a riverboat, and at many bookstores, community centers, and universities.