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Slam 101

By Kathleen Driskell, Spalding Low-Residency MFA Program Director

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The Spalding MFA in Writing Program continues to provide strong traditional creative writing courses in many genres at the graduate level, but creative writing programs should be . . . well  . . . creative.

We’re always looking to provide students with innovative curriculum that will give a wider set of skills they need and want for their own writing paths. Recently, we’ve added a slate of workshop, lecture, and research options that offer our MFA students the opportunities to study and intern in editing, publishing, grant-writing, and the teaching of creative writing, in order to provide skills that transfer to the professional writing workplace.

And during our Spring 2019 MFA residency in Louisville, I’m very pleased to announce we’re offering a residency course that features a “Slam 101” workshop led by National Poetry Slam winner Jennine “Doc” Krueger.


Jennine Doc Krueger

Interested in studying “Slam” at Spalding? Here’s how Doc describes her workshop.

Slam 101

This course will be an interactive boot camp approach to students working together as part of a slam team. We will be covering tools in group writing, scripting, blocking, and memorization, culminating into a final public slam where students are scored. Students will work on both individual pieces as well as collaboratively on group piece poems while learning general slam history, analyzing slam poems and extending to cover common practices in slam culture.

“Bring thick skin. Slam is not slam without judgment.”

Jennine “Doc” Krueger is a distinguished alumnus from Huston-Tillotson University (HT) graduating summa cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English. She went on to study in both English Literature and Education at Texas State and Concordia University earning her M.Ed. As a lifelong member of the HT family she joined the faculty full time in August of 2013. She has had poems published in various anthologies and recently a poem published in the Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzalduan Borderlands. She also has a short play The Coven, that will be in the upcoming Santa Fe Literary Review. She co-leads the writing workshop and open-mic at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) and she recently presented at the National Pop Culture conference in San Diego, CA with a presentation titled “Black: Beyond the Cape and Under the Mask,” analyzing marginalized heroes in comic books. In addition to teaching and scholarship, Ms. Krueger is the mother of four beautiful daughters and is a nationally recognized performing poet. She was awarded National Poetry Slam trophies for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. She continues to work with a community of writers on campus with the Quiet Storm poetry group and off campus coaching and mentoring for local slam poetry venues. She regularly visits middle and high schools presenting poetry as a mentor for the Speak Piece Poetry Project, a writing program for local youth interested in slam poetry. She is currently coaching the Austin Poetry Slam team heading to nationals this August in Chicago. Ms. Krueger received her MFA in poetry at Spalding University in June 2018. She is finishing a musical theater script to make medieval texts more accessible for POC, and she’s working on a collection of poems focusing on identity and intersectional feminism.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Slam 101 workshop for next spring, or any other aspect of our creative creative writing program, please inquire here. We’re always happy to connect with other writers.


Award-winning poet and teacher Kathleen Driskell is Professor of Creative Writing and serves as the Program Director of Spalding University’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2013, she was awarded the honor of Outstanding Faculty Member by the trustees of Spalding University. Her newest collection of poetry Blue Etiquette was published by Red Hen Press in 2016. Next Door to the Dead, was published as a Kentucky Voices Selection, by the University Press of Kentucky in 2015. Kathleen lives outside Louisville with her husband and two children in an old country church built before the American Civil War.



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