Wesleyan has produced many fine writers over the decades, offering courses in creative writing, readings and lectures by professional writers, and mentoring for students through the Writing Workshop. The Shapiro Creative Writing Center takes this important cultivation of writing talent, skill, and experience to the next level. The Center provides a locus for students and faculty seriously engaged with writing. It houses offices for visiting writers teaching in the proposed certificate program or in the English Department’s concentration in creative writing, as well as an office for one of the Writing Workshop’s Ford Writing Fellows.
The new certificate program serves students with a wide variety of writing interests, such as narrative nonfiction, fiction and poetry, journalism, science writing, or arts criticism. In addition to completing courses, students develop a portfolio of their work that they share with other students in the program. The English Department’s concentration in creative writing is geared toward English majors who wish to pursue an intensive program in creative writing in the context of advanced literary study. The concentration fosters the study of the history and practice of individual genres and of new hybrid forms, and offers student writers the opportunity to work closely with the department’s full-time writing faculty: Lisa Cohen (creative nonfiction), Deb Olin Unferth (fiction), and Elizabeth Willis (poetry).
John Shapiro ’74 and Shonni Silverberg M.D. ’76 made this exciting writers’ space possible through their generous gift in 2009.