• Hanif Abdurraqib

    Hanif Abdurraqib

    Creative Writing Poet

    Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet and cultural critic whose work has appeared in Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. The Crown Ain't Worth Much was one of 2016's best-selling poetry collections, and his debut collections of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was published November 2017.

  • Steve Almond

    Steve Almond

    Creative Writing Author and essayist

    Steve Almond is the author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. For four years, Almond hosted the New York Times "Dear Sugars" podcast with New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Strayed. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize and Best American Mysteries series.

  • Charles Baxter

    Charles Baxter

    Creative Writing Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist

    Charles Baxter is the author of the novels The Feast of Love (nominated for the National Book Award), The Soul Thief, Saul and Patsy, Shadow Play, and First Light, and the story collections Gryphon, Believers, A Relative Stranger, Through the Safety Net, and Harmony of the World.  The stories “Bravery” and “Charity,” which appear in There’s Something I Want You to Do, were included in Best American Short Stories. Baxter has also published essays on fiction collected in Burning Down the House and The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot, and has edited several books of essays. Baxter’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among other journals and magazines. 

    Baxter lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the University of Minnesota and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

  • Peter Carlin

    Peter Carlin

    Creative Writing Journalist, critic, and author

    Peter Ames Carlin is a writer and the author of several books, including HOMEWARD BOUND: THE LIFE OF PAUL SIMON, published in October 2016 and BRUCE, a biography of Bruce Springsteen published in October 2012. Carlin has also been a free-lance journalist, a senior writer at People in New York City, and a television columnist and feature writer at The Oregonian in Portland. A regular speaker on music, writing and popular culture, Carlin lives in Portland, Ore., with his wife and three children.

  • Marlanda Dekine

    Marlanda Dekine

    Creative Writing Poet

    Marlanda Dekine is a poet, a voice, and a presence. Her collection of poems, Thresh & Hold, won the 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize at Hub City Press. Dekine is the creator of i am from a punch & a kiss, a multimedia book/mixtape project, and the founder of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit working towards equity and justice. 
    She is the 2023 Spoken Word/Poetry Slam Fellow for South Carolina, the 2021 Castle of Our Skins Shirley Graham Du Bois Creative-in-Residence, a Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellow, Tin House Own Path Scholar, Emrys Scholar and a Watering Hole Fellow. Their work has been published in Root Work Journal, Oxford American, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Southern Humanities Review and elsewhere.

  • Rita Dove

    Rita Dove

    Creative Writing Pulitzer Prize winner, U.S. Poet Laureate

    Rita Dove was the Governor's School's inaugural artist-in-residence for the 2018 Presidential Guest Artist series. During her two-day visit in Greenville, Dove spent time with Creative Writing students in the classroom and provided a school-wide artist talk and book signing. She also gave a free public reading from her latest work, Collected Poems, 1974-2004, and discussed her life's work.

    Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952. A 1970 Presidential Scholar, she attended Miami University of Ohio, Universität Tübingen in Germany (as a Fulbright fellow) and the University of Iowa. In 1987 she received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, from 1993-1995 she served as U.S. Poet Laureate, and from 2004-2006 as Poet Laureate of Virginia. Author of a novel, a short story collection, a book of essays, and nine volumes of poetry -- most recently Sonata Mulattica (winner of the 2010 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award) and Collected Poems 1974-2004 (winner of a 2017 NAACP Image Award and the 2017 Library of Virginia Award for Poetry) -- she also edited The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry, which was published in 2011. Her song cycle Seven for Luck, with music by John Williams, was premiered by the Boston Symphony, and her play The Darker Face of the Earth had successful runs at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Royal National Theatre in London, among other venues.

    Rita Dove's numerous honors include the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, Lifetime Achievement Medals from the Library of Virginia and the Fulbright Association, as well as 25 honorary doctorates, most recently from Yale University. In 1996 she received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and in 2011 the National Medal of Arts from President Obama. She has served as president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and as chancellor of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa, as well as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. A member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she is Commonwealth Professor at the University of Virginia. 

  • Jorie Graham

    Jorie Graham

    Creative Writing Poet

    Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts (1980), Erosion (1983), The End of Beauty (1987), Region of Unlikeness (1991), The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1992 (1995) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Never (2002), Sea Change (2008), Place (2012), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for best collection, From the New World (2015), and Fast (2017), among others. She has taught for many years at Harvard University as the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, the first woman to hold this position.

  • Latria Graham

    Latria Graham

    Creative Writing Magazine writer and cultural critic

    Latria Graham is a journalist and fifth-generation South Carolina farmer. Her work stands at the intersection of food, social justice, sports and culture. She’s written longform pieces about everything from farming to NASCAR. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and later earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The New School in New York City. She is a three-time Best American Sports Writing notable for her stories on athletes in places of tension—primarily Standing Rock, ND and Flint, MI. She received a Bronze level CASE Award for her reporting on immigration policy and her work has been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, The Guardian, espnW, Southern Living, and Garden & Gun. She is a contributing editor for Outdoor Retailer Magazine.

  • Stephen Graham Jones

    Stephen Graham Jones

    Creative Writing Novelist

    Stephen Graham Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians. He has been an NEA fellowship recipient and been recipient of several awards including: the Ray Bradbury Award from the Los Angeles Times, the Bram Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Jesse Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction, and the Alex Award from American Library Association. He is the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • Toni Jensen

    Toni Jensen

    Creative Writing Essayist

    Toni Jensen’s Carry is a memoir-in-essays about gun violence, land and Indigenous women’s lives (Ballantine, September 8, 2020). An NEA Creative Writing Fellowship recipient in 2020, Jensen's essays have appeared in Orion, Catapult and Ecotone. She is also the author of the short story collection From the Hilltop. She teaches at the University of Arkansas and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Métis.

  • A. Van Jordan

    A. Van Jordan

    Creative Writing Poet

    A. Van Jordan is the author of four collections: Rise, which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award (Tia Chucha Press, 2001); M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, (2005), which was listed as one the Best Books of 2005 by the London Times; Quantum Lyrics, (W.W. Norton, 2007); and The Cineaste (W.W. Norton,, 2013). Jordan has been awarded a Whiting Writers Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He is also the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a United States Artists Fellowship. He is the Henry Rutgers Presidential Professor at Rutgers University-Newark.

  • Ada Limon

    Ada Limon

    Creative Writing Poet

    Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and was named one of the top 5 poetry books of the year by the Washington Post. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the online and summer programs for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She also works as a freelance writer in Lexington, Kentucky.


  • Sonja Livingston

    Sonja Livingston

    Creative Writing Memoirist

    Sonja Livingston's is the author of The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion and Ghostbread, which won an AWP Book Prize for Nonfiction. Sonja’s two other essay collections, Ladies' Night at the Dreamland and Queen of the Fall, combine history, memory and imagination to illuminate the lives of girls and women.  Her writing has been honored with a NYFA Fellowship, an Iowa Review Award, A VanderMey Nonfiction Prize, an Arts & Letters Essay Prize, and grants from Vermont Studio Center and The Deming Fund for Women.

    Sonja is an associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, and teaches in the Postgraduate Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has taught at the University of Memphis and in The Writing Workshops Abroad for the University of New Orleans in Edinburgh, San Miguel de Allende and Cork. She is married to the artist Jim Mott and splits her time between New York State and Virginia.

  • Rebecca McClanahan

    Rebecca McClanahan

    Creative Writing Author

    Rebecca McClanahan is the author of ten books, most recently The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change and a revised edition of Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively, which has sold over 40,000 copies and is used as a text in many writing programs. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Boulevard, The Sun, and in anthologies published by Doubleday, Norton, Putnam, Penguin, Beacon, St. Martin’s, and numerous other publishers.

    Recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and the Glasgow Award in nonfiction for The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, she has also been awarded a N.C. Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and four literary fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, among other honors and awards.

    McClanahan, who was the 2015 Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University, currently teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University (Charlotte) and Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington, and serves on the faculty of the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.  She lives in Charlotte, N.C. with her husband, video producer Donald Devet.

  • Susan Orleans

    Susan Orleans

    Creative Writing Essayist, Nonfiction Writer

    Susan Orlean began contributing to The New Yorker in 1987 and became a staff writer in 1992. Her subjects have included umbrella inventors, origami artists, the figure skater Tonya Harding, the basketball star Felipe Lopez, treadmill desks, taxidermy, and gospel choirs. She has also written extensively about animals, including show dogs, racing pigeons, animal actors, oxen, donkeys, mules, and back-yard chickens. Before joining The New Yorker, she was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and at Vogue; she has also written for the Times Magazine, Spy, Esquire, and Outside

    She is the author of eight books, including: The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People, My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who’s Been  Everywhere, Red Sox and Bluefish, Saturday Night, The Orchard Thief, which inspired the Spike Jonze movie Adaptation, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, and, most recently, The Library Book, which was nominated for the Andrew Carnegie Nonfiction Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She was a 2004 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and, in 2012, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Michigan. She has served as a judge for the National Book Awards and is the chair of the Literary Journalism Program at the Banff Centre.

  • Ron Rash

    Ron Rash

    Creative Writing Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet

    Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

  • John Patrick Shanley

    John Patrick Shanley

    Creative Writing Playwright, Director, Screenwriter

    An accomplished and award-winning writer and director, John Patrick Shanley has written extensively for film and the stage. The screen adaptation of his play "Doubt", written and directed by Shanley, earned him 2009 Academy Award and Writers Guild Award nominations for best adapted screenplay. While on Broadway, "Doubt" won numerous awards, including the Tony, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, The Drama League Award, the Drama Desk Award and the Pulitzer.

    Shanley's original screenplays include: "Five Corners",  "Moonstruck", for which he won an Oscar and a Writers Guild Award, "The January Manand "Joe Versus the Volcano", which he also directed. 

    His long list of acclaimed plays, many of which he directed in their original productions, includes: "Defiance", "Savage In Limbo", "The Dreamer Examines His Pillow", "Beggars In the House of Plenty", "Where's My Money", "Italian American Reconciliation", "Four Dogs And A Bone", "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" and "Dirty Story", which earned Shanley a Drama Desk nomination.

  • David Shields

    David Shields

    Creative Writing Fiction Writer, Essayist

    David Shields is the author of twenty-two books, including Reality Hunger, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, Black Planet, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Other People: Takes & Mistakes. The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was released by First Pond Entertainment in 2017. Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention was published in 2018; The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power is forthcoming in March 2019. 

  • Curtis Sittenfeld

    Curtis Sittenfeld

    Creative Writing Novelist

    Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels: Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible. Her first story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, was published in 2018 and picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. Her books have been selected by The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into thirty languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Slate, and on “This American Life.” A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Curtis has interviewed Michelle Obama for Time; appeared as a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” CBS’s “Early Show,” and PBS’s Newshour; and twice been a strangely easy “Jeopardy!” answer.

  • Peter Turchi

    Peter Turchi

    Creative Writing Fiction Writer, Essayist

    Peter Turchi is the author of six books and the co-editor of three anthologies. His books include: A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and MagicMaps of the Imagination: The Writer as CartographerSuburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie, in collaboration with the artist; a novel, The Girls Next Door; a collection of stories, Magician; and The Pirate Prince, co-written with Cape Cod treasure hunter Barry Clifford, about Clifford’s discovery of the pirate ship Whydah. 

    He has also co-edited with Andrea Barret A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on their Craft; The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work; and, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life. Turchi has received Washington College’s Sophie Kerr Prize, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

    Born in Baltimore, Turchi earned his BA at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and his MFA at the University of Arizona. He currently teaches nonfiction and fiction at the University of Houston, and fiction in Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. 

  • Ellen Bryant Voight

    Ellen Bryant Voight

    Creative Writing Poet

    Ellen Bryant Voigt grew up on her family's farm in rural Virginia. She earned her BA from Converse College and MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her most recent collections include Headwaters (2013), Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006, and Shadow of Heaven (2002). She has also written a collection of essays, The Flexible Lyric (1999), and with Gregory Orr co-edited Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World (1996), a selection of essays on writing.

    Bryant Voigt was a founder of the Goddard College low-residency MFA program, the first MFA program of its kind, and has also taught at Iowa Wesleyan College and MIT. She served as poet laureate of Vermont for four years. She has received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2015 she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship. She has lived in Vermont for many years.

  • Ross White

    Ross White

    Creative Writing Author, Poet, Podcaster

    Ross White is the author of Charm Offensive, winner of the Sexton Prize for Poetry, and three chapbooks, Valley of Want, How We Came Upon the Colony and The Polite Society. He is the director of Bull City Press, an independent publisher of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, where he hosts The Chapbook, a podcast devoted to chapbooks. He teaches creative writing, podcasting, publishing, and grammar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Tin House, and The Southern Review, among others. With Matthew Olzmann, he edited Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series. He also has a boutique design firm, Spock & Associates, and a weekly trivia show and podcast, Trivia Escape Pod.