Creative Writing

The core faculty of the creative writing program are well-regarded practitioners in contemporary fiction, memoir, and poetry. Our professors publish frequently, both with top commercial houses (Pantheon, Doubleday, Viking) and prestigious non-profits (Graywolf, University of Chicago, B.O.A. Editions). They write bestsellers (Julie Schumacher’s 2014 comic novel Dear Committee Members) and enduring classics (Charles Baxter’s widely cited Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction, Patricia Hampl’s pioneering memoir A Romantic Education).

Honors awarded to creative writing faculty include a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, the 25th Anniversary Rea Award for the Short Story, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize in Literature, and several Minnesota Book Awards. Poet and flash fiction/nonfiction writer Ray Gonzalez has been recognized with two lifetime achievement awards for his contributions to Latino Literature, the latest in 2015 from the national writers’ collective Con Tinta. Hampl and memoirist-poet Madelon Sprengnether are both regents professors, the highest honor given to faculty at the University of Minnesota.

Creative writing faculty are dedicated teachers, as evidenced by multiple University and College of Liberal Arts teaching awards. They are also dedicated readers, publishing book reviews (poet Peter Campion received the Editors Award for Reviewing from Poetry magazine in 2011) and editing leading journals or series (Ray Gonzalez has been the Poetry Editor at The Bloomsbury Review since 1980; Charles Baxter edits the Art of... fiction-craft series at Graywolf).

With the Department of English now offering an undergraduate minor in creative writing in addition to the program’s 20-year-old MFA degree, we are pleased to have added three new professors in the past three years: Peter Campion, currently director of the creative writing program; Kim Todd, author of three creative nonfiction books with an environmental science slant; and V.V. Ganeshananthan, author of the novel Love Marriage, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Book.

Read interviews with our outstanding faculty.