History of the Program
Jonathan R. Reynolds
A successful playwright, author, and screenwriter, Jonathan R. Reynolds is a 1965 Denison graduate who, through a remarkable $1.75 million endowment, has enhanced the University’s offerings in creative writing and theatre by creating a Distinguished Professorship, a Playwright-in-Residence position, and this Young Writers Workshop, now in its 19th year.
Jonathan Reynolds’s plays include Girls in Trouble, Dinner with Demons, and Stonewall Jackson’s House (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize). He is the recipient of Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundation grants as well as the Dramatists Guild Flora Roberts Award for Sustained Achievement. For 6 years he wrote a bi-weekly food column for the New York Times Sunday magazine. His memoir, Wrestling with Gravy: A Life, with Food, was published by Random House in 2010. He lives in New York with his wife, the set designer and producer, Heidi Ettinger.
Creative Writing at Denison
Denison University has offered a creative writing concentration within its English major since 1953. The program offers majors and minors in English with either a creative writing emphasis or a literature emphasis. Creative writers take a sequence of workshops in one or more genres, a range of British and American literature classes, as well as the broad array of courses associated with a liberal arts education. The typical sequence of creative writing courses begins with an introductory multi-genre class, continues with at least one advanced workshop (in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction), and culminates with a two-semester capstone senior project, in which students produce a book-length work of poetry or prose under the individual guidance of a member of the creative writing faculty.
Denison’s creative writing faculty includes poets David Baker and Ann Townsend and prose writers Peter Grandbois and Margot Singer. In addition, the endowed Beck Lecture Series brings 8 to 12 prominent writers to campus each year to give readings, workshops and short residencies. Recent visiting writers have included Ted Kooser, Louise Erdrich, Maxine Hong Kingston, Michael Pollan, Louise Glück, Antonya Nelson, and many others, including the annual winners of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) New Writers Award. The creative writing program also publishes Exile, a student-edited literary magazine.