Bard’s Written Arts Program encourages students to experiment with their own writing in a context sensitive to intellectual, historical, and social realities, and the past and current literary landscapes. Writing so pursued then becomes part of a humanist education, in which the private effort of the writer addresses and becomes part of the world’s discourse. It is expected that Written Arts students are also passionate readers. The program is staffed exclusively by distinguished writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction who emphasize both innovative, experimental work and work that foregrounds the conventions of writing. Intellectual stress is placed on literary theory and literary history, making students aware of conscious and unconscious influences on their writing, and the reception their work is likely to find in the world.
Writing workshops in genres such as fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and translation are offered every semester at several levels. Nonmajors and majors are encouraged to apply.
Students hoping to moderate into Written Arts are required to take five courses in the Division of Languages and Literature prior to
Moderation. A portfolio of original writing in the genre in which the student anticipates composing the Senior Project must be submitted, along with a revised version of an analytical paper composed in a past or present literature course. Students must have excelled in their Written Arts courses in order to successfully moderate into the program. All students moderating into Written Arts are strongly encouraged to study a foreign language.
Fiction/Nonfiction: Students hoping to moderate into fiction or nonfiction must take the following classes: Literature 201, Narrative/Poetics/Representation; one course in the English, American, or comparative literature sequence; a Written Arts course in their discipline (fiction or nonfiction) at the 100–200 level; a Written Arts course in any discipline at the 200–300 level; and another course in the Division of Languages and Literature.
Poetry: Students hoping to moderate into poetry must take the following classes: Literature 201, Narrative/Poetics/Representation; one course in the English, American, or comparative literature sequence; a Written Arts poetry course at the 100–200 level; a course in the analysis of poetry at the 200–300 level; and another course in the Division of Languages and Literature. Students who have moderated into fiction and nonfiction are strongly encouraged to take an upper-level writing seminar in Written Arts prior to the start of their Senior Project. Students who have successfully moderated into poetry
Recent Senior Projects in Written Arts:
- “the even passage of the sun,” a collection of poems centered around being, technology, histories, and memories
- “Salvador Fellini Presents: A Most Unfortunate Combination”
- “Slack Tide and Other Stories”
- “Worldream,” a dystopian poem in 10 parts
In addition to the Written Arts courses listed in the college catalogue, students may find that other programs offer writing courses and workshops specific to their subjects (e.g., Film 256, Writing the Film; Theater 107, Introduction to Playwriting).