Writing prize

Department of English

Check out our Spring 2023

Visual Course Catalog!!


The Department of English at the University of Cincinnati fosters the liberal arts by focusing on English-language texts across four mutually-interrelated disciplines: Literary and Cultural Studies; Creative Writing; Professional Writing; and Rhetoric & Composition.  Our faculty and graduate students produce exciting, award-winning, and interdisciplinary scholarly and creative work; and our students at the graduate and undergraduate levels profit from richly varied yet integrated curricular offerings tailored to specific academic interests. We can boast of a number of truly outstanding resources, including the George Elliston Poetry Room, one of the finest collections of American poetry anywhere in the nation, and the Helen Weinberger Center, involving a collaborative partnership with UC’s College Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati theatre community. The department publishes a number of journals, hosts reading series, festivals, and conferences, and welcomes prominent scholars for lectures and classroom visits.  Student groups, like the English Graduate Organization and the Undergraduate English Society, organize events throughout the year, helping to create our strong sense of community – despite the fact that we are the largest department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

English has something for everyone, from practical considerations concerning the best software to use in desktop publishing to theoretical reflections on issues of identity in literary and cultural texts.  If, after exploring our site, you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Areas of Study

  • Creative Writing
    The Creative Writing track allows students to combine the writing of fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, or poetry with the advanced study of literature.
  • English Education
    Do you want a career as a high school or middle school English teacher? This track, coupled with a Bachelor or Master’s degree in Secondary Education, trains students to enter the teaching profession in English Language Arts at the secondary level.
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
    This area focuses on the study of significant texts and forms, both literary and extra-literary, from all historical periods; major critical theories and approaches, current as well as foundational; and the historical, cultural, and ideological conditions under which texts have been produced and received.
  • Professional Writing
    The Professional Writing discipline enables students to establish a strong theoretical framework for practical applications in the field of professional writing.
  • Rhetoric & Composition
    Areas of study in the program include composition pedagogy, theory, and history, rhetorical theory (classical, contemporary, and cultural rhetorics), new media studies, research methods, public writing, and writing program administration.

Fiction Reading by Gwen E. Kirby and Bess Winter 
January 25, 2023; 5:30 p.m. EST 
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Panel: “Alumni Confidential: A Conversation about Publishing, Literary Careers, and Life After a Graduate Writing Degree,” featuring Gwen E. Kirby, Brenda Peynado, Liv Stratman, and Bess Winter 

January 26, 2023; 2:00 p.m. EST 
Location TBD 

Fiction Reading by Brenda Peynado and Liv Stratman

January 26, 2023; 5:30 p.m. EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Lecture by Brian Teare: "It's the End of the World & We Know It"
February 7, 2023; 5:30 p.m. EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library  
Description: This talk encounters four short poems – one each by Lucille Clifton, Jody Gladding, Oliver Baez Bendorf, and Emily Dickinson – on the way to offering an ecopoetic model of environmental writing and reading, one that contextualizes “nature” within the social as well as the ecological. Challenging the dualist model of nature as something that lies outside of culture, a social ecological approach asks us to write and read about the more-than-human world from a perspective located within a complex interdependence. The ecopoems of Clifton, Gladding, Bendorf, and Dickinson utilize poetic form both to articulate and to answer questions about relations between the human and the more-than-human: how to express solidarity with more-than-human beings? how to express human identification with more-than-human beings? how to express the messy, erotic enmeshment of humans and watersheds? and how to write our experience of extreme weather – and our uncertain future? Focusing on poetic form as an expression of the precarious embodiment that characterizes all life on Earth allows us to extend compassion, solidarity, and identification with more-than-human others through writing, while also acknowledging that such precarity is unevenly distributed across all lives.   

Poetry Reading by Brian Teare 
February 9, 2023; 5:30 p.m. EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Poetry Reading by Johannes Göransson
Co-sponsored by the Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures 
March 30, 2023; 5:30 p.m. EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Talk on Translation by Johannes Göransson
Co-sponsored by the Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures 
March 31, 2023; 3:30 p.m. EST
Location TBD

Fiction reading by Allegra Hyde
April 13, 2023; 5:30 p.m. EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

“The Writer and the Agent: A Conversation with Erin Harris and Allegra Hyde”
April 14, 2023; 3:30 p.m. EST 
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library 


WVXU: It's Friday the 13th. Do you suffer from...

January 13, 2023

UC folklore and superstitions expert Rebecca Borah cited in multiple media outlets for her take on how Friday the 13th instills fear in some, and not others. The date occurs twice in 2023 and has fear based roots dating to the 1800s.


UC undergrad finds success in publishing internship

November 7, 2022

UC undergraduate Mars Robinson understands as well as any the financial challenges that can face college students. A non-traditional student, Robinson took a break after high school graduation before entering UC’s College of Arts and Sciences to pursue an English major with an emphasis on creative writing. In the beginning, Robinson worked in a casino to pay tuition while she pursued her degree. The night work wasn’t compatible with her goals, she says, and she found herself mentally drained and struggling academically. Then, in 2021, she found an internship opportunity with the University of Cincinnati Press.

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