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Program Director
Scott Cairns is a librettist, memoirist, translator, and author of eight poetry collections. His poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Image, Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Prairie Schooner, etc., and both have been anthologized in multiple editions of Best American Spiritual Writing. He is a regular blogger for the Religion Section of The Huffington Post, and contributes a podcast, Flesh Becomes Word, for Ancient Faith Radio. His most recent books are Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems (2015), Idiot Psalms (2014), Short Trip to the Edge (spiritual memoir, 2007 & 2016), Endless Life (translations and adaptations of Christian mystics, 2007 & 2014), and a book-length essay, The End of Suffering (2009). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, and the Denise Levertov Award in 2014. His new projects include Descent to the Heart, a verse adaptation of selections from the writings of Saint Isaak of Syria. His spiritual memoir was just released in a Greek edition, Μικρό Ταξίδι στι Μεθόριο, and a second, expanded English edition appeared from Paraclete Press in 2016; a new, Romanian edition is forthcoming. He is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English at University of Missouri, and is founding director of Writing Workshops in Greece, a program now in its ninth year bringing graduate and undergraduate students—as well as unaffiliated writers—to Greece every June for engagement with literary life in modern Greece.
Program Coordinator

Cami Freeman, along with the program director, manages SPU’s MFA program. She received her MFA in creative writing from the Ohio State University, and her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Image, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Milton Postgraduate Fellowship, Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and OAC summer residency in Provincetown, MA.
Founding Director
Greg Wolfe Gregory Wolfe, the founder of the SPU MFA in Creative Writing, served as its director from 2004-2016. He is also the founder and editor of Image—one of America’s leading quarterly journals. Wolfe is currently Senior Fellow at the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at Seattle University. He edits a literary imprint, Slant Books, through Wipf & Stock Publishers. Wolfe’s books include Beauty Will Save the World, Intruding Upon the Timeless, and, most recently, The Operation of Grace. Follow him on Twitter: @Gregory_Wolfe.
Current Faculty
The creative writing faculty work closely with students both at the residencies and throughout the correspondence quarter. We are honored that some of America's leading writers have chosen to teach in our program.
Susanne Paola Antonetta’s (First-Year Creative Nonfiction Mentor) Make Me a Mother, ranked a Top Ten Book of the Year by Image Journal, was published by W.W. Norton. A digital chapbook, Curious Atoms: A History with Physics, was published by Essay Press in May of 2016. She is also author of Body Toxic, A Mind Apart, the novella Stolen Moments, and four books of poetry. She is a frequent blogger with the Huffington Post. Awards for her poetry and prose include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science book of the year, a Lenore Marshall Award finalist, an Oprah Bookshelf pick, a Pushcart prize, and others. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Orion, The New Republic and many anthologies. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.
Robert Clark Robert Clark (Second-Year Fiction Mentor) is the author of four books of nonfiction and four novels, most recently the nonfiction book Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces and the novel Lives of the Artists. His other novels include Love Among the Ruins, Mr. White's Confession (which won the Edgar Award), and In the Deep Midwinter. He is also the author of a spiritual memoir, My Grandfather's House: A Genealogy of Doubt and Faith. He was recently a Guggenheim Fellow working on a collection of essays on art and belief. His books have been New York Times Notable Books of the Year and he is a winner of the Edgar for Best Novel, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and the Washington State Book Award as well as being a finalist in the Los Angeles Times Book Awards and the IMPAC Dublin Award.
Robert Cording (First-Year Poetry Mentor) is professor emeritus at College of the Holy Cross, where he taught for thirty-eight years and was Professor of English and the Barrett Professor of Creative Writing. He has published eight collections of poems: Life-list (Ohio State University Press/Journal award, l987); What Binds Us To This World (Copper Beech Press, l991); Heavy Grace, (Alice James, l996); Against Consolation (CavanKerry, 2002); Common Life, (CavanKerry, 2006); Walking With Ruskin (CavanKerry, 2010), A Word in My Mouth: Selected Spiritual Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2013), and, most recently, Only So Far (CavanKerry Press, 2015). He has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry and two poetry grants from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts. His poems have appeared in numerous publications such as the Nation, the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, Poetry, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, New England Review, Orion, and the New Yorker.

Gina Ochsner (First-Year Fiction Mentor) is the acclaimed author of the short story collection The Necessary Grace to Fall which received the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the story collection People I Wanted to Be. Both books received the Oregon Book Award. Her novel entitled The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight received the Grub Street Book Prize in 2011 and was long listed for the Orange Prize in 2010. Her most recent novel is titled The Hidden Letters of Velta B. Ochsner has been awarded a John L. Simon Guggenheim grant and a grant from the National Endowment of Arts. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Glimmertrain and the Kenyon Review.

Jeanne Murray Walker (Second-Year Poetry Mentor) held The Atlantic Monthly Fellowship at Bread Loaf School of English at the age of nineteen. Her poetry appears in periodicals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, and Image. She has published eight collections of poetry, among them, A Deed to the Light, New Tracks, Night Falling, and the most recent, Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems (Word Farm Press, 2014). Jeanne’s poems have been widely anthologized, including in the recent collection: The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine. Her plays have won The Washington National Theatre Competition, a Stage Time Award, The Virginia Duvall Mann Award and two William and Arlene Lewis Playwriting Awards; they have been performed in cities across the U.S. and in London. Jeanne’s memoir, The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer's, was published in 2013 by Hachette Press and in 2015 she co-edited with Luci Shaw Ambition: Essays by Members of The Chrysostom Society. Jeanne holds a PhD in English from The University of Pennsylvania and serves as a Professor at The University of Delaware, where she heads the Creative Writing faculty. She is a Pew Fellow in Poetry as well as the recipient of seven Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts Awards, the Colladay Award, the Prairie Schooner/Strousse Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
Lauren F. Winner Lauren F. Winner (Second-Year Creative Nonfiction Mentor) is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and her recent study A Cheerful & Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia. She has appeared on PBS’s "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today. Winner has degrees from Duke, Columbia, and Cambridge universities, and holds a Ph.D. in history. The former book editor for Beliefnet, Lauren teaches at Duke Divinity School, and lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Recent Faculty

Paula Huston's (Creative Nonfiction) books include Daughters of Song (Random House), The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life (Loyola), Forgiveness: Following Jesus Into Radical Loving (Paraclete), Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit (Ave Maria), and A Land Without Sin (Slant). Her latest book, One Ordinary Sunday: A Meditation on the Mystery of the Mass, is forthcoming in March 2016. Her short stories, essays and articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Story, American Short Fiction, North American Review, America, Image, The Christian Century, and Geez, in addition to websites such as explorefaith.com and catholicesxchange.com. A National Endowment of the Arts Fellow in Creative Writing, her work has been honored by Best American Short Stories, the Catholic Press Association, ForeWord Magazine, and Best Spiritual Writing.

Jeanine Hathaway (Poetry) is the author of two collections of poems, The Self as Constellation (UNT Press, 2002) which won the 2001 Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry, and The Ex-Nun Poems, from Finishing Line Press. She is also the author of an autobiographical novel, Motherhouse (Hyperion, 1992). Hathaway has led creative writing workshops (in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction) off-campus locally and at the Fall Writing Festival at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. She is at work on a libretto for an opera based on Gary D. Wilson’s novel, Sing, Ronnie Blue.
Leslie Leyland Fields (Creative Nonfiction) is the author of the nonfiction books Surviving the Island of Grace, Out on the Deep Blue, and The Entangling Net: Alaska's Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives, among others. She has edited two anthologies, The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting toward God (2010) and Hooked: True Stories of Obsession, Death, and Love from Alaska's Commercial Fishing Men and Women (2011). She teaches at Kodiak College and fishes commercially with her family. Her essays have appeared in the The Atlantic, Orion, Image, and The Christian Science Monitor.
Bret Lott (Fiction) is the author of the novels Jewel, Reed's Beach, A Stranger's House, and The Man Who Owned Vermont; the story collections How to Get Home and A Dream of Old Leaves; and the memoir Fathers, Sons, Brothers. His stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines, among them The Southern Review, The Yale Review, The Iowa Review, the Chicago Tribune, and Story, and have been widely anthologized. He lives with his wife, Melanie, and their two sons, Zebulun and Jacob, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Deborah Joy Corey (Fiction) has published stories in many quarterlies, including Ploughshares, Story, New Letters, The Crescent Review, and Image. Her first novel, Losing Eddie (Algonquin), won the Books in Canada First Novel Award and was voted one of the best 100 novels of the nineties. Her second novel, The Skating Pond (Putnam) was published in 2003.
B.H. Fairchild's (Poetry) most recent book of poems, The Art of the Lathe (Alice James), was a finalist for the 1998 National Book Award and received the Kingsley Tufts Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the PEN Center West Poetry Award. He has been the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller/Bellagio Fellowships. His latest book, Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (Norton), won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Paul Mariani (Poetry) is one of America's leading literary biographers and poets. His books include the poetry collections Salvage Operations and The Great Wheel, as well as biographies of William Carlos Williams (nominated for a National Book Award), John Berryman, Robert Lowell, and most recently Hart Crane. Three of his biographies were New York Times notable books. His most recent books are Thirty Days: On Retreat with the Exercise of St. Ignatius, winner of the Catholic Book Award, and God & the Imagination: On Poets, Poetry, & the Ineffable.
Sandra Scofield (Fiction) is the author of Occasions of Sin (Norton, 2004), Gringa (winner of the New American Writing Award), Beyond Deserving (a 1991 finalist for a National Book Award), and A Chance to See Egypt (winner of a Best Fiction award from the Texas Institute of Letters in 1997). She received an NEA fellowship in 1991 and has participated in outreach programs for Oregon Literary Arts and the National Book Foundation. Her newest book for writers, The Scene Book was published by Penguin Books in 2007. She is currently at work on a second memoir.
Recent visitors include Jamie Quatro, Uwem Akpan, Christian Wiman, Scott Russell Sanders, Melanie Rae Thon, Mark Jarman, and more. Click here for more information on visiting writers, artists and musicians.


Last Modified: 6/8/2017