CHESTERTOWN—Fiction writer Roy Kesey, class of 1991, will spend the fall semester on the Washington College campus as the first Sophie Kerr/Rose O’Neill Literary House Writer-in-Residence. He will teach a class in creative writing, hold office hours at the Literary House to mentor students, and offer a public reading and a public talk about the writer’s art and craft.
In announcing the new Writer-in-Residence program, Literary House Director Jehanne Dubrow explained that it will host a writer once every three years, always in the fall semester. “This new residency will offer students more opportunities to engage with an established creative writer in a sustained and meaningful way,” she said. “It will add diversity to the creative writing offerings and bring additional points of view to the literary conversation taking place on our campus.”
When Kesey launches the writer-in-residence program this fall, he will teach a special topics course titled “Creative Writing Workshop: Non/Fiction.” English Department Chair Dr. Kathryn Moncrief said the course will use both classic and contemporary texts to study “the borderlands between fiction and nonfiction, an area inhabited by writers as varied as Thucydides, Cervantes, Virginia Woolf and Mary Karr,” and that students will explore the ways in which “fiction can steal tricks from nonfiction, and vice-versa.”
The residency is funded by the Sophie Kerr endowment, the Rose O’Neill Literary House, and the Office of the Provost. There is no application process; writers will be selected by the Department of English and the director of the Literary House.
Roy Kesey is the author of the short story collection “Any Deadly Thing” (Dzanc Books 2013) and the novel “Pacazo” (Dzanc Books 2011/Jonathan Cape 2012). His other books include the short story collection “All Over,” the novella “Nothing in the World,” and a historical guidebook to the city of Nanjing. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, the Paula Anderson Book Award, and the Bullfight Media Little Book Award. His short stories, essays, translations and poems have appeared in more than a hundred magazines and anthologies, including “Best American Short Stories” and “New Sudden Fiction.” Kesey earned his bachelor’s degree in English in 1991.