Creative Writing
Department Chair:
DeSales Harrison

Administrative Assistant:
Suzanne Overstreet

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-6567
Fax: (440) 775-6677

153 W. Lorain Street

Oberlin, OH, 44074

Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profiles
Chris DeWeese

Chris DeWeese '01

"I grew up in the aisles of Melville & Company, a small used bookstore my family owned in Port Townsend, Washington. I remember finding a stack of worn copies of Field in the poetry section when I was a teenager. I enjoyed the postcard covers, the poem-centric size of the journal, and the uncluttered layout, but I especially loved the poems I found inside." [more]

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham '08

(On her motion picture Tiny Furniture):"It’s about a period when someone doesn’t know how to value yourself. She is no longer a student, but not defined by a career yet, she is not defined by relationships, or by being someone’s child." [more]

Nava EtShalom

Nava EtShalom '04

"Nava EtShalom learned to talk in Jerusalem and to read in-Brooklyn. Now she's a Philadelphia-based poet, essayist, and educator. As a writer, educator, and activist, she works on supporting justice in Palestine and reimagining queer family." [more]

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

Jenni Ferrari-Adler '99

"...her professor didn't push her towards a field in publishing or editing, but suggested instead she try her hand at construction work, because, 'it paid well and wouldn't interfere with the writing.' She didn't take his advice literally, but did move to Brooklyn and work a series of odd jobs, including egg-selling." [more]

Jeanne Feuerstein

Jeanne Feurerstein '06

"...…upon deciding against a profession in law, she spent the next two years in a Buddhist monastery, visiting friends, working as a volleyball coach, and volunteering at an AIDS hospice/residential facility and a clinic for young people, eventually attending Bennington College in preparations for medical school." [more]

Adam Giannelli

Adam Giannelli '01

" fluency in Spanish also led to an interest in Latin American authors. I have recently been translating the work of the Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik. Translation has influenced my own writing...The process has taught me a lot about how poems are crafted. Pizarnik's poems tend to be short and fragmented, which has led me to explore disjunction in my own work." [more]

Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong '98

[on her book Dance Dance Revolution] "...a book-length sequence of poems spoken in two voices, as Adrienne Rich describes: 'The Guide is a former South Korean dissident from the Kwangju uprising of 1980. She speaks a fluid international language called Desert Creole, which draws, the poem tells us, from 600 emigré language groups including Caribbean patois, Asian ‘pidgin,’ Spanish, Latin, German and Middle English.'" [more]

Myung Mi Kim

Myung Mi Kim

"...Myung Mi Kim travels to the root of language, connecting speech and culture in a rich web of immaculate phrases. Kim strips words to the bone, using fragments and white space to enhance her themes of dislocation and first language loss.'" [more]

Wayne Miller

Wayne Miller '98

" junior year...I met Moikom Zeqo, an Albanian poet who visited our class to discuss Albanian language and literature. At a dinner that evening...I got up the nerve to ask Zeqo if he would let me work on translating a group of his poems for an end-of-the-semester project. Ten years later, my book-length translation, I Don't Believe in Ghosts (2007), was published by BOA Editions as a Lannan Selection." [more]

Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers '07

"... I am fascinated with what lives under the bridge between languages. As an outsider to a foreign language, we often miss a word's connotations. But can our lack of understanding actually create new nuances, and give fresh meaning to everyday words?" [more]

Chris Santiago Photo

Chris Santiago '99

"The many lives I led before coming to USC include a post as an English teacher in a small rice-farming community in Northern Japan; a Japanese immersion kindergarten teacher; stints as a development and publicity assistant at Miramax Films and a year as a copywriter and layout artist..." [more]

Matthew Sharpe

Matthew Sharpe '84

"...'Feeling bearably' is not often in the realm of daily experience for fledgling writers, and Sharpe sums up his post-Oberlin, pre-literary big shot years in six words: 'Penury, haphazard dental work, ecstasy, doubt.' And while Sharpe eventually moved on to greener pastures, he insists that seeking out 'beauty and understanding' remains more important to him than the search for personal happiness." [more]

Michael Sowinski

Michael Sowiski '03

"...In 2005, Michael joined Teach for America, and taught literacy and special education in the South Bronx. He currently teaches in the New York City public schools and is an adjunct education instructor at Pace University. He continues to be involved in literacy, voting rights, and community organizing projects, as well as reading, writing, cooking, and keeping up with life." [more]

Anne Strother

Anne Strother '09

"...I took note of the surreal banality that can occur in a television studio: anchors muttering in front of the camera before they go on air as producers in the control room listen in; production assistants eating their lunches as they log video of festivals or mudslides in other countries; our library filled with old tapes of news events, diners, housing developments, concerts, gardens-- even cooperative living! " [more]

Bruce Weigl

Bruce Weigl '73

[on communication in poetry] "'...I think primarily it's the idea that there's something very powerful about the human spirit to endure, and I've most often written about ordinary people in extraordinary situations.' Art, says Bruce, allows people to rise above the darkness, to take charge of their stories, of their own narratives." [more]

John Wray

John Wray '93

[on floating down the Mississippi River on a raft] "...In a way these various funny things that I’ve done, among other purposes, serve the purpose of showing that one doesn’t take oneself too seriously. Because that’s the perception of a writer and a novelist in particular: someone who takes him or herself too seriously." [more]