Department of English & Literary Arts

Study Literature as a Site of Possibility

The Department of English & Literary Arts connects historical context to contemporary innovations across writing, research and scholarship. Our faculty, graduate students and undergraduates come together to spark intellectual curiosity and feed literary creation.

Undergraduate English students gain access to leading writers, critics and scholars across diverse fields of study who connect classroom learning to professional experience in editing, publishing, research and creative writing.

Graduate students in the master’s and doctoral programs develop their scholarly and creative interests through seminars and workshops, as well as tutorials and colloquia aimed at in-depth study, teaching mentorship and professional development. Creative writers can serve as readers and editorial staff at Denver Quarterly, a leading voice in avant-garde and experimental writing since 1966.

Degree Programs

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Undergraduates can major or minor in English & Literary Arts, with options for distinction and honors in the major. Concentrations in literary studies, English education or creative writing allow majors more fully to develop their interest in a particular subfield.

Graduate students can pursue an MA in our flexible literary studies concentration or develop expertise through our doctoral program in English & Literary Arts. PhD students choose between a concentration in literary studies or creative writing, with further options for writers to specialize in poetry or prose.

Like literature classes, the creative writing courses at DU are eclectic, interesting and as diverse as the people teaching them. As every instructor approaches the material with their own collection of passions and curiosities, no two sections of creative writing class are the same.

Emelia Kamadulski (BA '21) English & Literary Arts

I have been encouraged here to look at my scholarly writing through a creative lens, and at my creative writing through a scholarly one. For me, this has broadened my understanding of what it is possible to study, to think and to write.

Zeeshan Reshamwala PhD Candidate, Literary Studies

There has often been a kind of divide and conflict between academic programs and creative writing programs. I don’t know exactly how that began, but I have found over the years that that divide has lessened — practically disappeared — here.

Bin Ramke Poet, Professor and Phipps Chair


Denver Quarterly

Founded in 1966 by John Williams, Denver Quarterly has published major writers at the cutting edge of avant-garde and experimental thought for more than 50 years. The journal, which publishes reviews, poetry, prose and cross-genre writing, is edited by a DU faculty member with the assistance of graduate students.

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Scholarly & Creative Publications

Faculty and graduate students publish scholarship and creative works with top journals, magazines and presses. The Department of English & Literary Arts at DU is made up of researchers, scholars and writers whose works span academic and creative publications — and frequently explore where critical and creative work meet.

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Foothills Visual and Textual Journal

Foothills, published annually by a staff of undergraduate students at DU, is a longstanding publication that brings textual and visual innovations together. First established in 1946, Foothills is dedicated to the ways in which verbal and artistic creativity vitalizes community.

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The Denver School of Forms & Poetics

This two-week summer program connects communities across disciplines, interests and intellectual pursuits. The Denver School of Forms & Poetics brings DU faculty, graduate students and advanced seniors together with guest artists and the broader Denver community. Through a variety of workshops and seminars, the program serves as a forum to explore literary and creative endeavors, and to experience innovations in how such endeavors can interact.

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Support innovations in the creative and literary arts