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.

Department Information


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

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