Welcome from the Director
You need not have written a poem, gotten closer to the filmmaking endeavor than your television screen, or even completed a short story, in order to take a class in creative writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts.
If you have written poems or fiction, a short screenplay, or a translation into English of your favorite story from the Mandarin, you will find unrivalled support to develop your talent in creative writing workshops at Princeton University.
All workshops – in literary translation, poetry, screenwriting and fiction – enroll ten or fewer students, who meet each week to read, write and discuss the literature of the past and present, and the literature each student writes during the semester.
You will have the opportunity in these workshops to work with some of the most celebrated poets and novelists of our time, including Jeffrey Eugenides, Chang-rae Lee, Joyce Carol Oates, and Edmund White in fiction; and Paul Muldoon, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith and C.K. Williams in poetry or translation. Permanent faculty members are augmented by each semester’s visiting writers; these included, for example, Mario Vargas Llosa and Colm Tóibín in 2010-11.
We welcome microbiologists, mathematicians and chemists as well as English majors and undecideds, first-semester freshpersons as well as graduating seniors.
To apply for a workshop, you will submit an application and either a few pages of sample writing or a paragraph on why you would like to take the workshop. Application forms are available on our website as soon as the registrar releases the next semester’s course schedule.
Juniors may apply to undertake a creative thesis. If accepted, they write a collection of short fiction, translations, or poetry, and they meet one-on-one throughout their senior year with a member of the faculty. Once completed, their thesis earns them a Certificate in Creative Writing in addition to their work for their major department.
Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts and its Program in Creative Writing also hosts a public reading series and a biennial poetry festival, bringing renowned writers to campus to meet with students and to give readings from their work. In the past several years, these writers have included David Sedaris, Jhumpa Lahiri, W.S. Merwin, Anne Carson and Charles Simic.
We look forward to having you in our creative writing classes at the Lewis Center for the Arts.
Director, Program in Creative Writing