Programs of Study

Students at Wesleyan can pursue their interests in creative writing in a variety of ways.  The English Department offers courses at all levels and in all genres, and English majors can pursue a creative writing path within the major. The College of Letters, the College of Film and the Moving Image, and the Theater Department also regularly offer creative writing classes. The Shapiro Center hosts Master Classes in creative writing as well as conversations, events, and student groups throughout the year.  The center also coordinates readings by prominent writers on campus.

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From its inception, the COL has had distinguished creative writers--poets, novelists, memoirists and nonfiction authors--on its faculty, who have variously held the titles of Writer in Residence, Tutor, or Professor, and often advise creative theses by students. Chronologically, the following writers have taught in the COL:

Peter Boynton (1961-1971) was the author of the novels Games in the Darkening Air (1966) and The Eaves Dropper (1970).

Franklin Reeve (1967-2002) was the author of ten books of poetry, six novels, five books of criticism, eight translations from Russian and five plays. He served as Robert Frost’s translator on a good-will mission to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev on behalf of President John F. Kennedy. Reeve also translated Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1970 Nobel lecture.

Daniel Stern (1976-1978) wrote nine novels including Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die? (1963), an early contribution to literature of the Holocaust, and After the War (1965), which focuses on postwar experimentation by young people trying to make up for lost time.

Roxana Robinson (2002-2003) is the author of ten books - six novels, three collections of short stories, and a biography of the painter Georgia O’Keefe.

Paula Sharp (2003 -2012) is the author of the short story collection, The Imposter (1991), and of the novels The Woman Who Was Not All There (1988), Lost in Jersey City (1993), Crows over a Wheatfield (1996), and I Loved You All (2000).   

Dani Shapiro (2006- 2007) has written six novels including Family History (2003), Black & White (2007, Signal Fires, (2022)and the best-selling memoirs SlowMotion (1998), Devotion (2010), Hourglass (2017), and Inheritance (2019), as well as the original podcast series Family Secrets (2019). 

Charles Barber (2012 – present) is the author of a memoir Songs from the Black Chair (2006) and three works of nonfiction, Comfortably Numb (2008), Citizen Outlaw (2019), and Peace & Health (2022), as well the forthcoming book, In the Blood, in 2023.