ONE OF THE OFFERINGS on display at this year's Stumptown Comics fest was an anthology called From Stella with Love, that was created and produced by students in the IPRC's Comics Program, one of several tracks offered in the IPRC's Certificate Program in Independent Publishing. The program focuses on teaching students to create, design, and publish their own work.

After a successful first year, the IPRC has just announced that they'll be expanding their offerings for 2010/2011—not only will the program's Comics/Graphic novel section jump from two semesters to three, but a poetry track has been added, supplementing the extant Fiction/Nonfiction track, where students will study under the award-winning poet/critic B.T. Shaw. (Guest lecturers include local poets Matthew Dickman, Emily Kendal Frey, and more.)

"We're providing Portlanders with an innovative and inexpensive alternative to an MFA," says the IPRC's executive director Justin Hocking. "And unlike a university program, we help folks actually produce and publish their own handcrafted books or comics, and then market them online." (Students at the University of Oregon can apply to receive credit for the program.)

Costs for 2010/2011 have yet to be announced, but last year's program was $550 per semester. The program begins in mid-September; applications are due by June 30. See for more info.