IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

MFA in Creative Writing


We are proud to announce the premiere of Mud City, the student-edited online literary journal. 

mud city logo 2

Click on the logo to learn more. 

In other news:


Faculty mentor Elissa Washuta’s second book, Starvation Mode: A Memoir of Food, Consumption, and Control was published in June by Instant Futures, a micro press out of Portland, Oregon. Washuta is author of 2014’s genre-defying memoir, My Body Is a Book of Rules. 

Claire 2015  

Faculty mentor Claire Vaye Watkins’ new novel, GOLD FAME CITRUS is coming out Sept. 29 from Riverhead Books. Chrsitine Smallwood, writing in the September issue of Harper’s said, “Claire Vaye Watkins’s excellent new novel follows Luz, Ray, and the baby they name Estrella from ecological waste into psychic quicksand.” See the rest of the review in Harpers.

MFA student Bryan Bearheart received a 2016 Pushcart nomination, and has poetry out or forthcoming in Plume, North American Review, and Prairie Schooner.

MFA student Barbara Robidoux’s  story, “Lucy Little Bear” appears in the October issue of Denver Quarterly. She also has poetry in the Santa Fe Literary Review 2015.

MFA student Kathryn Wilder’s essay, “Sundance,” was a finalist for the Thomas A. Wilhelmus Award and appears in the current issue of Southern Indiana Review at http://www.usi.edu/sir/current-issue .

MFA students Ruby Murray, Mary Kancewick, and Anita RoastingEar, along with alum, Ramona Emerson, were all winners in the Tribal College Journal Student writing contest.

The Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts

We are building on the success of our undergraduate Creative Writing program. Our Bachelor of Fine Arts and Associate of Fine Arts alumni have gone on to graduate from over a dozen graduate programs and have produced over two dozen published books of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and plays.

There are approximately fifty Low Residency MFA Programs in the U.S. The Institute of American Indian Arts’ program is modeled on the most successful of these, with one important difference: IAIA’s mission “to empower creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning, and outreach” means that the program and the literature we read carry a distinct Native American and First Nations emphasis. Over 60% of our faculty mentors are established Native American or First Nations authors. Our program is open to everyone, but the focus will remain aligned with our unique mission.

IAIA faculty mentors are a dynamic group of writers who have won, among many other awards, Lannan Literary Awards, Whiting Awards, a National Book Award, a ScotiaBank Giller Prize, a PEN/Faulkner Award, a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN Open Book Award, a United States Artist Fellowship, and a Donald Hall Prize from the Associated Writing Programs.

Faculty mentors include Sherman Alexie, Pam Houston, Joan Kane, Sherwin Bitsui, Natalie Diaz, Melissa Febos, Linda Hogan, Santee Frazier, Geoff Harris, Chip Livingston, Eden Robinson, Ken White, and Orlando White.

You can apply online or through the mail. The deadline for priority consideration is February 1 to begin the following July; however, applications are accepted until June 1. For more information, see How to Apply here.

The Institute of American Indian Arts’ Low Residency MFA program is among the most affordable MFA programs in the country. For a detailed accounting, visit the Tuition and Fees page here. 

For more classes at IAIA, you can go to the College Catalog at : http://www.iaia.edu/academics/iaia-college-catalog/

 Wheel of Fortune, 2005,Painted steel, 96 inch diameter, Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Native ArtsApache-Chronicle-main
                        MFA FACULTY                                          NEWS                                          COURSES



Jon Davis        Director                 505-424-2365 jdavis@iaia.edu

Rudolfo Serna    Program Coordinator 505-424-5932 rudolfo.serna@iaia.edu