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The Best Creative Writing Professors in the World

Creative writing can be a tricky subject to master. It isn’t enough to know the grammar and spelling, you need to be able to convey your thoughts in a unique way. While trying to figure out how to improve your writing, you need to know where to start. Fortunately, you can find the best creative writing professors in the world, here is a list of the top professors for advanced creative writing courses.

Stanley Fish

Fish is one of the best known American literary critics and theorists. He is a prominent figure in contemporary American and English literature. In addition to his work on creative writing, he has written numerous books on literature, linguistics, and philosophy. Students can take a look at his writings to find comprehensive information on the subject. His views often appear in The New York Times, where he is a literary columnist. Fish was born in New York City in 1936 and received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1958. Later, he received his M.A. in English from Cornell University in 1961 and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He was also a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago until he returned to the school he started at in 2008.

William Gaddis

Another prominent figure on this list is William Gaddis. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After law school, he worked as a prosecutor at the N.Y. County District Attorney’s office. However, he didn’t like what he was doing and quit to write. Gaddis is best known for his distinctive prose, which is often dark and brooding. He is regarded as one of the greatest American novelists of the 20th century. His body of work includes 25 novels, 3 books of stories, and 2 books of nonfiction. His influences include Thomas Wolfe, James Joyce, and Vladimir Nabokov. Many of his works feature alcohol, drugs, and sex. A prolific writer, Gaddis has published over 20 books since 1965. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Peggy, and is a popular professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Donald Winnicott

Winnicott is a British-born child psychologist. He was born in 1918 and grew up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Child Development, he pursued further studies at the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education in London. He then began working in pediatric medicine in Newcastle. During World War II, he worked at a military hospital in London, where he conducted research into pediatric medicine. In 1948, he founded the child therapy center, Woodside School, in Newcastle. He has since worked there as a consultant and educator. He is also the head of the department of child health at the University of Newcastle. His most well known works include the essay series, The Creative Moment and The Child’s Right to Fiction and Play. He has also written numerous books and articles on the subject of creativity in childhood. The most recent of which is entitled, Play and Exploration: The Inner Life of a Child. Winnicott was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal by the British Psychological Society for his work in child psychology. He is regarded as one of the greatest creative writing professors of all time.

Alfred Kazane

Another prominent figure on this list is Alfred Kazane. He is an American professor of English and Creative Writing. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in English literature from Princeton University. He also attended the Virginia Writers’ Center for Aesthetic Education. While teaching at Princeton, he chaired the English Department. He then went on to teach at the University of Houston and the University of Kentucky before he became a full-time professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. He has written numerous books, including short story collections, novels, and plays. He has also edited numerous anthologies of short stories and poems. Some of his well-regarded novels are: The House on Black Lake (1959), A Place of Stone (1962), and The Yellow Wall Sheet (1965). Two of his best known short story collections are Urban Solitude and Night Mirrors. His work has been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He currently lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, Elizabeth, and four daughters. He is a popular speaker at literary festivals around the world and teaches creative writing at several US colleges and universities.

John Fowles

Fowles is one of England’s most famous novelists. He was born in Ipswich in 1926 and raised in Kent. His father, an Anglican priest, and his mother were both avid readers and encouraged his interest in literature. When he was a teenager, he read all of Shakespeare’s plays and wanted to become a literary agent, attending the London School of Economics to study law. He then switched his focus to writing and began setting up his own literary agency. His first novel was The Collector, published in 1954. It was followed by the much-loved The Magus (1956), The Collector’s Monologue (1960), and The Protagonist (1968). These books are often compared to the work of Henry Miller because of their frank depiction of drug use and sexual encounters. He also wrote numerous short stories, which were collected in Urban Solitude (1971) and Night Mirrors (1973). The most recent of Fowles’s books to be published is The Book of Peace, which was released in 2018. A film adaptation of The Magus was released in 2019.

William Faulkner

Faulkner is best known for his novels, including The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), and Light in August (1932). Many of his works feature the unique ‘southern’ dialect he developed. His most famous story is almost certainly “The Bear”. It was first published in The Saturday Evening Post and later collected in his book, As I Lay Dying. As well as being a prolific writer, Faulkner was also a professor of English, and he held this position at the University of Virginia for many years. He also wrote numerous book reviews for The New York Times. During World War II, he served in the United States Army. He retired from the army in 1958 and began writing full-time. He died on July 12, 1962, at the age of 53. William Faulkner was one of the most influential professors of creative writing in history.

William Bronk

Another noteworthy professor of Creative Writing is William Bronk. He earned his B.A. in English from Boston University and his M.A. in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania. He went on to teach English at the University of Maryland and the University of Connecticut. One of his most famous students is John Irving, who credits him with giving him “a kind of education I wouldn’t have gotten anyplace else”. When Irving’s first novel, The Cider House Rules, was published in 1989 to great acclaim, it was attributed in part to his having taken a class with Bronk. He has also written extensively on teaching literature and creative writing. William Bronk currently teaches at Duke University and lives in Durham with his wife, Margaret. They have two grown sons. He also has a daughter from his first marriage.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is a prolific German poet, playwright, and novelist. He is best known for his collection of poetry, Duino Elegies, published in 1900. He also published a collection of short stories, Children’s Stories, in 1906. His novels include The Book of Invitations (1911), The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (1912), and The Man Without Qualities (1926). One of the greatest creative writing professors of all time, Rainer Maria Rilke taught at universities in Germany and Switzerland for almost 60 years. Today, his former students gather in cities around the world to celebrate his memory.