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Sharon Bryan

MFA in Creative Writing Faculty

faculty sharon bryan

Can creativity be taught? When I took modern dance lessons as a child, we spent the first half of each class practicing technique (craft). Then we took a break, lay on the floor, and closed our eyes. Music played softly in the background, and our teacher began to tell a story about a snowflake falling, a caterpillar, a woman planting corn. When we wanted to, we got up and danced how we felt - and of course when we did, we used the techniques we'd been practicing. I believe craft and creativity are inseparable. I teach craft. Then I do everything I can to encourage creativity.

My special interests in poetry include translation, point of view, the free verse line, traditional forms, form in free verse, the invention of free verse, poetry and painting, poetry and science. I have a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Physical Anthropology, so I'm always glad to have students with backgrounds outside literature.


Books of Poetry

Sharp Stars (2009)
Flying Blind (1996)
Objects of Affection (1987)
Salt Air (1983)

As Editor

Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition (1994)

As Co-Editor

Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life (2003)


Two NEA Fellowships in poetry, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Discovery Prize awarded by The Nation, as well as other literary prizes.

Past Affiliations

Sharon has taught as a visiting writer at many universities around the country, most recently the University of Connecticut.


M.F.A. in Poetry, University of Iowa
M.A in Anthropology, Cornell University
B.A. in Philosophy, University of Utah