Program History

WHechtThe RC’s Creative Writing Program officially started in Fall 1970, growing out of a writing class Warren Hecht taught earlier that Winter. (He arrived in Ann Arbor in Fall 1969 with a writing grant and a degree in English from CCNY). Warren retired in December 2016 and is now Lecturer Emeritus.

Then as now, Program students combine disciplined writing with the study of literature, taking a minimum of four writing classes (seminars and tutorials) and a minimum of five upper level literature courses (including one studying either ancient or medieval writing).

ACarriganThe Program initially focused on fiction. Poetry was added in 1973 with the hiring of Andrew Carrigan, who taught English and writing for Ann Arbor Public Schools. Carrigan returned to the Schools in 1975.

MikolowskiKen Mikolowski (right) replaced Carrigan in 1977, and continued through retirement (Winter 2015). He is now Lecturer Emeritus.

CarolynBalducci1Carolyn Balducci (left) taught writing for children and young adults from 1977-2002.

thomasHired in 1999, RC Creative Writing alum Laura Thomas (right) replaced Hecht as head of the Program in 2003. Under Thomas’s direction the program has grown (from about 30 to about 50 students), and has expanded a focus on community involvement, including local internships (826Michigan, Dzanc Books, Midwestern Gothic), writers’ teas, writers’ workshops, and readings and “open mic” events.

Laura Kasischke (left), an RC Creative Writing alum, re-joined the RC faculty in Fall 2015 to teach poetry seminars. She is also Allan Seager Collegiate Professor of English at U-M.

Susan Rosegrant (right), an RC Creative Writing alum, has taught in the RC since 2008. She is also Program Head of the RC’s First Year Seminar Program.

Program staff include (on left) Sarah Messer, a U-M alum and Hopwood winner, Andrew Weinstein, and Christopher Matthews, wh0 joined the Program in 2017.

Lolita Hernandez (right) retired in 2018, after 12 years as an RC Creative Writing lecturer.

Others who have taught in the Program include RC Creative Writing alum Elizabeth Schmuhl.

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