The BIMA Creative Writing major is an intensive workshop-style course exploring poetry, playwriting, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Writers develop their craft, engage with meaningful texts, explore their individual writing voices, and mine their depths to create authentic, multidimensional, original work. The goal of the course is to simultaneously strengthen participants’ craft as writers, to translate their experiences, emotions, and imaginations into literary form, and to create a vibrant community of writers. Participants are encouraged to take risks in content and form, as well as by providing thoughtful, constructive, supportive feedback to their peers.
Each summer, BIMA writers also go on a number of field trips to find inspiration and to understand the greater context for the role of the writer in society. In previous summers, writers visited the National Yiddish Book Center, the DeCordova Museum, Grub Street Writers Collaborative, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Rose Art Museum, using visual art as motivation to create both poetry and prose.
In addition to field visits, summer 2018 also included master classes with visiting artists: Abena Koomson-Davis (formal poetry, songwriting, improvised spoken word and soundscapes), April Ranger (playwriting, dialogue, and action writing), and Aaron Tillman (short story forms, character development, and fiction). There were also three New York City-based guest speakers: Jive Poetics, a poet, DJ and educator; Jon Sands, a poet, fiction writer and educator; and Ynanna Djehuty, a writer, midwife, educator and activist.