Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Pat Lowery Collins
Professional Title: M.F.A. Creative Writing Faculty
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Writing for Young People, Poetry
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Distance-Learning Courses:Creative Writing I - IVCraft and Reflection I - IIIGraduate Seminar PreparationCreative ThesisResidency Seminars:Simplify: A Hands-On WorkshopThe Voice of the Past, Coming to You LiveThe Many Faces of PaceWords with Pictures: What Writers for Children and Young Adults Need to Know
Education: B.A. English, The University of Southern California; Study of Fine Art at UCLA, USC; DeCordova Museum School, and Brandeis University
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: Books: The Deer Watch (forthcoming)Daughter of Winter (2010)Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice (2009)Come Out Come Out (2004)The Fattening Hut (2003)Schooner (2002)Just Imagine (2001)Signs and Wonders (1999)I Am an Artist (1992)Book of Poetry:The Quiet Woman Wakes Up Shouting (1998)
Teaching Philosophy: The roots of my teaching style and philosophy are in a childhood influenced by the educational ideas of Maria Montessori. In our house, curiosity and imagination reigned supreme, and my sisters and I were encouraged to pursue any and all interests.
This same freedom of exploration is what I offer my students. As their mentor I also try to be approachable and encouraging, respectful of each individual's artistic process, and as honest as possible within a climate where the student is truly heard and acknowledged. There are opportunities to take risks, to seek solutions independently, and to determine one's own goals.
Never a full time teaching professional, I was invited to teach at Lesley because of a level of success in the children's book industry. Perhaps because of my background in visual art and poetry, I continue to stress attention to imagery, to the choice and sound of words and their rhythmic patterns, and to the close observation of detail. There are many important elements of craft, such as development of plot and characters, that can be learned, but a strong piece of prose needs the distinct signature of its author, something that, with proper guidance, will evolve over time and must be honored and nurtured.
Awards: New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Fiction; Massachusetts Cultural Council Professional Development Grant; Vermont Studio Center writer's grant in poetry; Boston Author's Club 2004 Julia Ward Howe Award; ALA 2005 and 2011 Amelia Bloomer Project Selection; Reading Rainbow Selection; Child Study Association Children's Book of the Year selection; New York Public Library Books for the Teenage selection; Book Sense 76 selection; Millay Colony Fellow; YASIG Best of the Best for 2004.
Prior affiliations: Worcester Art Museum; Rivier College; Northshore Community College.
Other Interests include: Fine Arts: Painting. Maintains an open working studio in Rockport, MA.
MFA in Creative Writing
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