English and Creative Writing at Sewanee

When you study English at Sewanee, you will be part of a truly storied program. Our vibrant range of courses and our generous and engaging faculty will guide your exploration of literature from Ancient Greek epic to the contemporary African novel.

Our Creative Writing program will develop your talents in a broad range of genres, including Fiction, Playwriting, Creative Non-Fiction, and Poetry. You will also be immersed in Sewanee's long literary tradition, including The Sewanee Review, the country's oldest continuously published literary quarterly, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, a yearly gathering of writers that has included Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners.

At the center of our practice is a concern with form – that is, what makes literature different from other kinds of writing and communication? Our faculty and students explore big questions that literature poses: Dr. Matthew Irvin asks, How does language create emotion, and does that emotion change with language? Claire Crow, C’ 21, asks, How has medieval literature given us the terms to understand modern ideas of race and gender? Playwright Elizabeth Wilder asks, How does writing produce rituals that bind communities? Dr. Maha Jafri asks, What can a narrative do? 

Professors and students share in these explorations: they inspire classroom discussions, creative projects, and undergraduate research. But they are also part of the life of our community, in our hallways, at Stirlings, and also in places like the Writing House, the Sewanee Literary Society, and the Mountain Goat Literary Journal. We also bring others in to help us answer them: writers and academics, artists and entrepreneurs, journalists and philosophers. While Sewanee has a long and proud literary tradition, we also look outward, to new voices, new approaches, and new literatures.

So how can you get involved? See what classes we are offering this semester, upcoming events, our faculty, and check out the major in English, the minor in Shakespeare Studies, and the Major and certificate in Creative Writing!   

A Sampling of Courses


Programs of Study & Related Programs

All our current courses are listed here.

Requirements for the Major in English

Requirements for the Minor in Shakespeare Studies | Website

Requirements for the Major in Creative Writing: Fiction Track, Playwriting Track, Poetry Track

Requirements for the Certificate in  Creative Writing | Website


Meet some professors


Matthew irvin
Professor of English 


Gailor Hall 21, Ext. 3366

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