Kenyon has a long history of nurturing talented poets and fiction writers, and many students attend Kenyon for its creative writing courses. Each year, ten members of the Department of English faculty teach a variety of workshops in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction, and many students choose to complete the English major with an emphasis in creative writing.
In addition, many special opportunities are available to students interested in creative writing at Kenyon, including numerous readings by writers of national reputation, internships with the Kenyon Review Student Associates Program and opportunities to publish creative work in a wide assortment of student literary journals. Students interested in pursuing creative writing courses during the summer may also apply to the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop for an intensive eight-day program in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction. The Kenyon Review also offers a summer workshop for high-school students (ages 16-18) interested in developing their creative and critical abilities during the years before applying to college.
The Kenyon Review Fellows Program honors a long-standing tradition of supporting gifted young writers emerging onto the literary scene. In previous iterations of the program, renowned literati such as Flannery O'Connor and W.S. Merwin were fellows of the review. The program offers a unique opportunity for students, faculty, and the visiting writers themselves. Fellows reside in Gambier for two years while working on significant writing projects, teaching creative writing courses in the English department and receiving editorial as well as teaching experience.
Misha Rai (Prose, 2018-2020) received an MFA from Bowling Green State University and a PhD from Florida State University. Her novel-in-progress, "Blood We Did Not Spill," was awarded the Dana Award in the novel category and earned Rai the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies in 2016. She was recently awarded the 2018 Dogwood Literary Prize in Nonfiction for her essay “To Learn About Smoke One Must First Light a Fire.” She has also been a 2016-17 Edward H. and Mary C. Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State University and the recipient of the 2015 George M. Harper Award. Her prose is forthcoming or has appeared in Ninth Letter, The Gigantic Book of Tiny Crimes, Mississippi Review, Indiana Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sonora Review, Dogwood: A Journal of Prose and Poetry and elsewhere.
Keith S. Wilson (Poetry, 2018-2019) is an Affrilachian Poet, a Cave Canem fellow, and a graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He serves as an assistant poetry editor at Four Way Review and digital media editor and web consultant at Obsidian Journal. Wilson holds an MFA in poetry from Chicago State University and was recently selected as a Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry by the Adroit Journal. His debut collection, "Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love," is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. His poetry, which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award, appears in Blueshift Journal, American Letters & Commentary, 32 Poems, Drunken Boat, Cider Press Review and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, among others.
Molly McCully Brown (Poetry, 2019-2020) is the author of the poetry collection "The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded" (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and which New York Times book reviewer Dwight Garner recently selected as one of his Top Ten Picks for 2017. Raised in rural Virginia, she is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Stanford University and the University of Mississippi, where she received her MFA in poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Crazyhorse, The New York Times, Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Image, Colorado Review, The Rumpus and elsewhere. Brown spent 2018-19 in Bologna, Italy as a recipient of the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship.
The Richard L. Thomas Chair in Creative Writing brings internationally-recognized poets and fiction writers to Kenyon to teach creative writing workshops and literature courses.