The ECA writers learn to create work in a range of literary genres, including poetry, fiction, memoir, humor, and playwriting. Because serious writers are serious readers, students also learn how to read as writers do – gaining an understanding not only of what literary works mean but of how they were made. Literature studied in the department is primarily contemporary and representative of diverse cultures.
Classes are taught by professional writers recognized in their fields. They support students in their undertaking of the creative process, from first draft to final polished product. Students also benefit from the feedback of fellow students in the context of ongoing writers’ workshops.
Visiting Writers to the Creative Writing Department include:
- Sharon Olds: winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a National Book Critics Circle Award; professor of poetry at New York University.
- Phillip Lopate: Director of the MFA program in nonfiction at Columbia University; editor, The Art of the Personal Essay; author of eight acclaimed essay collections.
- Caryl Phillips: internationally recognized writer of fiction, nonfiction, and plays. Honors include the 1987 Martin Luther King Memorial Prize; presently Professor of English, Yale University.
- JoAnn Beard: author of an essay collection and a novel; memoir included in Best Essays of the Century; teaches in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence University.
- Alice Mattison: winner of New York Times Editors’ Choice and Notable Book awards for her fiction; teaches fiction in the Bennington MFA Program.
- Janet Burroway: her textbook, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft is the most widely used fiction writing text in America.
- Marilyn Nelson: three-time finalist for the National Book Award; Coretta Scott King award for A Wreath for Emmett Till; former CT Poet Laureate.
- Spalding Gray: (1941-2004): writer and performer of groundbreaking monologues on stage and film; met privately with ECA writers (which he recorded as potential material for future monologues) to communicate his enthusiasm for their work, and to share his belief in the transformative power of art.
To apply for Admission to the Creative Writing Department, please visit the Application Process Page and click the button below to find the requirements for your Creative Writing Review.