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spacerCreative Writing Major (B.A.)

The Creative Writing (B.A.) major at St. Thomas Aquinas College allows students to explore and sharpen their creativity.  Students are required to take several focused classes in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction – and can choose some elective courses like autobiography and playwriting – in order to polish their work.  By the time of graduation, our students will have assembled a portfolio of writing that will prepare them for entry into some of the best M.F.A. programs in the area.  In fact, several of our recent graduates have been accepted for graduate work at such prestigious institutions as Sarah Lawrence and The New School. 

Our program faculty includes writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry who have been published in a range of venues, both in print as well as in online forums.

Creative Writing students can also have a front seat at readings by professional writers who appear at our Writers @ Work series.  In addition, these writers typically sit in on creative writing seminars with undergraduates, offering students an unparalleled opportunity to work one-on-one with famous, even Pulitzer-prize winning writers.

Students will also get a chance to work on our literary journal, Voyager, a completely student-run publication.

Featured writers who have appeared in our Writers @ Work series:
Michael Bess
Sasha Pimentel Chacon (Winner of the American Book Award)
Jim Daniels
Mark Dery
Louise DeSalvo
Fred Gardaphe
Gary Gildner
Edvidge Giunta
Eamon Grennan
Andrei Gurianu
Steven Haven
Michael Henson
Colette Inez
Linda Susan Jackson
Carolyn Kizer (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry)
Yusef Komunyaka (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry)
Lynn Lauber
Derek Mahon
James McBride
David Means (Winner of the
Los Angeles Times Book Prize)
Richard Tillinghast
Gioia Timpanelli (Winner of the American Book Award)
Mitch Weiss (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in journalism)

Program Faculty

Professor Rachel Golland
Rachel Golland received her degree in English Literature and the Teaching of English, with an emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric.  She teaches Creative Non-fiction, as well as numerous courses in Composition, American and British literature, and literature related to gender studies, including those with a focus on environment.  Her primary interests lie in constructing and reconstructing the self through writing and 20th century literary and cultural productions. A particular focus has been questions of perspective and subjectivity as related to the performance of identities and issues of literature and language.  She is currently working on a memoir, a work of creative non-fiction that engages with questions of identity formation, familial impact, and eccentricities of parenting styles.

Professor Gerald McCarthy
Gerald McCarthy’s books include War Story (1977), Shoetown (1992), and Trouble Light (West End Press, 2008).  Poetry, fiction, reportage and criticism have appeared in New Letters, The National Catholic Reporter, TriQuarterly, The Ohio Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Ploughshares, The North American Review, among other publications.  Recent poetry has appeared in the forthcoming The New Anthology of American Poetry: Vol. III: Postmodernisms 1950-Present  edited by Steven Gould Axelrod (Rutgers University Press, 2012), American War Poetry and Dismantling Glory (Columbia University Press), From Both Sides Now (Scribner’s), A New Geography of Poets, and more. He has twice been a Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome, has studied with R.W.B. Lewis at Yale University (NEH Summer Seminar), and was selected as a participant in the Gilder-Lehrman Institute on American Slavery directed by David Blight, also at Yale University.

Gerry has been nominated over 20 times for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, received awards in poetry from National Writers Union, the New York State Council on the Arts, and has served as a panelist for the NYS Foundation on the Arts awards in poetry. This year he is one of the judges for the 2012 Tillie Olsen Award and will be give the keynote reading at The Working Class Studies Conference at SUNY Stony Brook in June 2012.

He is currently at work on a new collection of poetry and in the final edit and revision of a memoir entitled: Vet Deconstructed.  He lives in Nyack, NY with his wife Michele and their three sons.

Web page:


Dr. Charles O’Neill
Charles O’Neill’s interests are wide-ranging.  He is interested in Irish writers (from the distant past to those writing right now), English Romanticism, and literature written all over the world.  Charles has published and presented essays on a variety of writers and cultures.  He teaches playwriting.

Professor Monica Wendel
Monica Wendel is the author of the chapbook Call it a Window (Midwest Writing Center, 2012).  A graduate of NYU’s MFA in Creative Writing program, where she was awarded both Goldwater and Starworks teaching fellowships, she has taught creative writing at NYU, Goldwater Memorial Hospital, and St. Mary’s Heath Care System for Kids. At St. Thomas Aquinas College, she serves as the poetry club advisor and volunteers with Midnight Run, a homeless advocacy organization.  Her poetry appears widely in print and on the web, most recently in the Brooklyner, H_NGM_N, Leveler, Occupy Writers, and Paperbag.


Rachel Golland, Visiting Instructor of English
Gerald McCarthy, Professor of English
Dr. Robert D. Murray, Professor of English
Dr. Charles L. O’Neill, Professor of English
Monica Wendel,  Assistant Professor of Composition and Creative Writingh
Elaine Winship, Visiting Instructor of Speech and Composition

Major Requirements

Course Descriptions

English Minor

The Writing Program

Writing Minor


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