Read the work of contemporary writers, including those selected for the Visiting Writers Series, and write critical and creative responses. Students have the unique opportunity to ask writers questions about their work and about their experiences as artists—each author will visit class for an extended Q&A.
The UMass Amherst English Department is a diverse and welcoming community. We combine the strengths of a liberal arts college with a major research University: our smaller classes facilitate substantive discussion, frequent writing, active student engagement, and face-to-face contact with research faculty.
Amid the diversity of our offerings is a common commitment to developing the student's ability to analyze literary and cultural texts and contexts, and to write clear, persuasive, and graceful prose. We encourage you to make language a source of your power in the world. These reading, thinking, and writing skills will enhance your capacity for persuasion, leadership, clarity, and interpersonal effectiveness in whatever career you pursue.
A long-forgotten 1891 novel written by an African-American woman is challenging assumptions about black history and literature because her book was about white characters in England, according to Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, the Paul Murray Kendall Chair in Biography at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
September 19, 2017
A two-time U.S. Poet Laureate, Ms. Natasha Trethewey draws much of her writing from extensive research. Her poetry is often anchored in the complex history of racial and social inequity in the...
August 31, 2017
Kamila Shamsie '88 MFA is seeing praise for her new novel Home Fire, a retelling of Sophocles' ancient Greek play Antigone. In a recent New York Times review, Home Fire is described as having "one of the most memorable final scenes... in a novel this century".
Symone Green is widely involved across campus. From participating in the Five College PoetryFest to community-based learning in HFA classes, Symone finds herself creatively and socially engaged daily. She discusses her experiences as an English major, an ESL instructor, a poet and songwriter, her involvement on the UMass campus, and her excitement for both the present and future.More >