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Craig Deininger

Craig Deininger
Craig Deininger
  • Assistant Professor of Creative Writing & Literature

Before coming to MIU, Craig taught at Naropa University, Lees-McRae College, Studio Film School in Los Angeles, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he earned an MFA in Creative Writing, served as an editor for the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and was Coordinator of the MFA’s Visiting Writers Series. He also earned an MA and PhD in Mythology and Jungian Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. His poetry has been published in several literary journals, anthologies, and newspapers, including The Iowa Review, Glyphs, Between, Moab Happenings, and Riverbend. He is a regularly featured writer for the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and his first book of poetry, Leaves from the World Tree, was recently published by Mandorla Books.

On Teaching

My primary goal in teaching is to influence and support the development of autonomy in the students. In this light, I like to see myself as a sort of temporary liaison who introduces students to the course content, who provides exercises and assignments to further their understanding, and who then steps out of the way so that each student may creatively direct his or her own relationship with the material. This last part is of great importance because it allows students to apply their unique and natural means of learning, thereby making the knowledge wholly their own. I have found that the most effective method of accomplishing this endeavor is by allowing students to thoughtfully explore the content through their own writing.