department of english

114 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

Main Office: 401.874.5931 - Graduate Office: 401.874.4663

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Creative Writing

We welcome interested students from all disciplines to explore our creative writing courses. At URI, the interdependence of creative writing and critical, rigorous reading are equally valued. Through an exploration of varied themes, issues, forms, media, and levels of creative and theoretical engagement, our writing students are offered a diverse, cross-disciplinary, and in-depth study.

Creative Writing at URI

To learn more, contact:
Mary Cappello
(Essay; Literary Nonfiction; Experimental Prose)
Peter Covino (Poetry)
Derek Nikitas (Fiction)

At the undergraduate level, students can select from two workshop offerings at ENG 205 Introductory Creative Writing and at least two at the ENG 305 Advanced Creative Writing workshops in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, and screen writing. All courses are capped at 15 participants, allowing for an intimate and thorough creative critique of original work. Courses are offered in Kingston and in Providence throughout the year.

Additional courses that integrate lessons and encourage attendance at URI’s Ocean State Writing Conference are also offered in the summer. Students can further explore advanced, theme-driven seminars at the 400 level and graduate level. Select undergraduate students may also be able to enroll at the graduate level.

URI creative writing students have recently been accepted into some of the best MFA and Creative Writing program in the country, such as Hunter, Emerson, Columbia College/Chicago, Sarah Lawrence, University of Chicago, University of Pittsburg, Lesley, Vermont College, UC Fresno, and University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Others have opted to attend some of the most prestigious graduate programs in English, including Vanderbilt, Villanova, and University of Virginia.


As a creative writing student you will engage with experienced and enthusiastic professors who encourage you to test your limits and bring new insights to your work. Our faculty have published prize-wining books and are recipients of some of the country’s most prestigious writing awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN Osterwell Award, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the Stegner Fellowship, the Bechtel Prize for Educating the Imagination from Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and several Rhode Island State Council of the Arts prizes.

Creative Writing Opportunities

Creative writing students at URI have a variety of opportunities to develop their work and participate in the larger community of writers. They are tutored in all aspects of publication—learning how to perform their work and discover opportunities in print and digital media. Our students are also encouraged to participate in annual writing contests and end-of-semester student readings.

Additional opportunities include:

  • Internships with initiatives such as the Read/Write Lecture Series, The Ocean State Writing ConferenceThe Ocean State Review, and Barrow Street Press, a poetry press and literarty arts organization, based in New York and Rhode Island
  • Participation in varied literary communities, where students can gain valuable work experience in scholarly and creative research, publishing, advertising, marketing, and book and journal production







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