books on a table beside a typewriter


Learning to read literature is like learning to see a whole new world.

Close, attentive reading. Critical and creative writing. Independent research. As an English major, you’ll develop your own questions and directions as you explore the traditions of American, African American, ethnic American, British, Irish, and global postcolonial literatures. You’ll hone your skills in literary theory and interpretation. Whether your interests lead you to pursue scholarly or creative writing, you’ll find many opportunities to learn from the regular faculty as well as guest scholars and authors through programs like Writers@Grinnell. We encourage you to conduct original research and study abroad to venture beyond the existing curriculum. You’ll be well prepared for advanced study or careers in fields such as journalism, law, publishing, media, or education.

Writing at Grinnell

Dorothy Allison at Grinnell College


Writers@Grinnell, the English department’s reading series, brings to campus writers of all kinds: poets, novelists, memoirists, essayists, radio essayists, columnists, graphic memoirists, playwrights, and short story writers.

A student receives help from the Writing Lab

Creative Writing

The English department believes that creative writing ought to be fully integrated into the formal study of literature.

Molly McCully Brown

Writers@Grinnell Welcomes Molly McCully Brown

Writers@Grinnell Reading with Molly McCully Brown on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.
Riva Lehrer

Writers@Grinnell Welcomes Riva Lehrer

Writers@Grinnell reading by artist, writer and curator, Riva Lehrer, on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 8 p.m. in the Grinnell College Museum of Art.
Jerald Walker

Writers@Grinnell Welcomes Jerald Walker

Writers@Grinnell Reading with Jerald Walker on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center (JRC), Room 101.

Department Information


Humanities and Social Studies Center
1226 Park Street
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

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