College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
MFA Creative Writing


Every year, the MFA-Creative Writing program hosts several writers for extended visits: these writers meet with the MFA students in social settings, lead classroom discussions, read manuscripts and provide mentoring and inspiration throughout their stays. Recently, writers-in-residence have included: Jonathan Lethem, National Book Critic's Circle Award winner in 2000 for Motherless BrooklynAlicia Erian, author of the acclaimed coming-of-age novel, TowelheadJean Valentine, National Book Award-winning poet; celebrated European poet Tomaz Salamun; bestselling young adult author and YouTube star John Green (Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska); and Lenore Marshall Award-winning poet Linda Gregg (In the Middle Distance, All of It Singing).Writers-in-Residence for 2014-2015 include: Kaui Hart Hemmings, whose debut novel The Descendants was adapted into an Academy Award-winning screenplay; former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Carl Phillips; National Book Award winner and multi-genre writer, Denis Johnson;  and poet and Guggenheim Fellow, Catherine Barnett.

Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence

The Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence is designed to bring exciting, emerging writers to the MFA program as guest faculty. Our first Tarkington Writer-in-Residence, Michael Dahlie, author of A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living, and winner of a Whiting Prize and the 2009 PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel joined our faculty full-time as of August 2012.

We are pleased to announce the Booth Tarkington Writer-in-Residence for 2014-2015, screenwriter Alix Lambert. Not only does Alix have substantial screenwriting, directing, and producing credits, she's also taught in several MFA programs across the country, has authored three non-fiction books, and has a BFA in sculpture.

Who is Booth Tarkington?

Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) was one of the most popular American novelists of his time, best known for Pulitzer Prize-winning books The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams, making him one of only three novelists to win the Pulitzer prize more than once. In addition to writing several novels, Tarkington was a dramatist and illustrator; he illustrated his own works and the works of others, most notably the 1933 reprint of Huckleberry Finn. A true Midwesterner, Tarkington was born in Indianapolis, and as an adult kept a home on Meridian Street until the time of his death. Among other legacies throughout the state of Indiana, the historic Butler-Tarkington neighborhood is named in his honor. Booth Tarkington is buried on "the hill" at Crown Hill Cemetery.