SPU Graduate Programs
Site Map
SPU Homepage


Program Director
Greg Wolfe Gregory Wolfe, director, and writer-in-residence at SPU, will teach the introductory Art and Faith course that MFA students will take in their first residency. Wolfe is publisher and editor of Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, one of the premier literary quarterlies in America. Wolfe is the author of Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age (2011), Intruding Upon the Timeless: Meditations on Art, Faith, and Mystery (2003), Sacred Passion: The Art of William Schickel (1998) and Malcolm Muggeridge: A Biography (1997), as well as editor of The New Religious Humanists: A Reader (1997). His work has appeared in Commonweal, First Things, Modern Age, National Review, New Oxford Review, and many other periodicals.
Program Coordinator

Aubrey Allison is a 2013 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Writing. She is also the Marketing Associate for Image Journal.
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.
Scott Cairns (Poetry) is a librettist, memoirist, translator, and author of seven 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 Idiot Psalms (2014), Compass of Affection: Poems New and Selected (2007), Short Trip to the Edge (spiritual memoir, 2006), 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 new, expanded English edition will be released from Paraclete Press in 2016. His Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems will be published by Paraclete Press in 2015. He is Professor of English at University of Missouri, and is founding director of Writing Workshops in Greece: Thessaloniki/Thasos, a program now in its seventh year bringing graduate and undergraduate students—as well as unaffiliated writers—to Greece every June for engagement with literary life in modern Greece.
Robert Clark Robert Clark (Fiction) 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. A memoir, My Grandfather's House: A Genealogy of Doubt and Faith, was published in 1999. He was recently a Guggenheim Fellow working on a collection of essays on art and belief.
Paula Huston Paula Huston (Creative Nonfiction) is the author of nonfiction books Forgiveness: Following Jesus Into Radical Loving, The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life, and By Way of Grace: Moving From Faithfulness to Holiness, as well as the critically acclaimed novel Daughters of Song. Her work has been twice selected for the Best American Short Stories list. Her spiritual writing and short stories have appeared in a vast array of literary journals and magazines, including North American Review, Missouri Review, Story, MSS, American Short Fiction, The Christian Century, Image, America, Massachusetts Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Geez.

Gina Ochsner (Fiction) is the acclaimed author of two short story collections, most recently People I Wanted to Be. Her fiction has received numerous awards and has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her first collection, The Necessary Grace to Fall, was selected for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. It also won the Oregon Book Award for Short Fiction and the PNBA award for short stories and was an Austin Chronicle Top Ten Pick.

Jeanne Murray Walker's (Poetry) 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, the most recent of which is Helping the Morning: New and Selected Poems (Word Farm Press, 2014). She is the author of the memoir, The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer's. Her first play won the Washington National Theater Competition. Subsequently her plays have been performed in Boston, Chicago, and London. Jeanne is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Colladay Award, and the Prairie Schooner/Strousse Award. In 1998, she was named a Pew Fellow in Poetry.
Lauren F. Winner Lauren F. Winner (Creative Nonfiction) 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


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 Scott Russell Sanders, Melanie Rae Thon, Mark Jarman, and more. Click here for more information on visiting writers, artists and musicians.


Last Modified: 4/23/2015