Creative Writing

CSCWR: Centering Students in Creative Writing

This committee, composed of Creative Writing faculty and staff, is dedicated to monitoring, discussing, and addressing anti-racist, climate, and inclusion initiatives within the Creative Writing Program. The committee will serve as a conduit for conveying information and suggestions to the current Program Director. The goal of the committee will be to make recommendations in the spirit of finding best practices that ensure that all students in our program feel respected, included and supported. The CSCWR committee plans to meet with the students involved in the 2020 teach-ins and to further engage with the document of student demands in order to determine the best path forward. The committee will prepare one formal report each semester.

View the list of Committee Members »

 


Letter from the Director

Dear Creative Writing Students and Community,

In the past year, we have witnessed, experienced, and withstood a series of events that have made an unprecedented impact on each and every one of us. The Covid 19 pandemic has altered our world and continues to prevent many of us from working, teaching, and learning in-person. And from the killing of George Floyd to the storming of the Capitol, we are painfully reminded of this country’s systemic racism and social division.

Building on Professor Tracy K. Smith’s recent Climate and Inclusion Update in her role as Chair for the Lewis Center for the Arts, I take this opportunity to reiterate that issues of race, identity, and social justice are central to creative writing and, therefore, to the Creative Writing Program, which welcomes all Princeton students to express themselves, to develop their voices, and to engage in the practice of literary art. We strive to respect and to empower our students, to challenge and nurture them as best as we can. We strive, too, to listen to them.

In September of 2020, at the invitation of the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Committee on Climate and Inclusion, a group of BIPOC students affiliated with the Lewis Center conducted a series of four student-led teach-ins which allowed Faculty and staff to reflect upon issues of race, intersectional identity, and student activism from the students’ point of view. These conversations, complex and necessary, were enormously productive for the entire Lewis Center. As part of the teach-ins, we received a document listing a series of proposals regarding our pedagogical practices and our programming. You can review and download (PDF) the proposals that pertain specifically to the Creative Writing Program.

Speaking on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to express my gratitude to those students who brought these proposals to our attention. They devoted considerable time and energy to the teach-ins and created new and vital pathways of dialogue. Their feedback and perspective have led to ongoing reflection on our part. These students have contributed to the welfare of the Creative Writing Program and are helping to redefine it, not only in this critical juncture, but also for future generations of students. We could not be more appreciative.

There is now a committee in place, composed of CWR faculty and staff, dedicated to monitoring, discussing, and addressing anti-racist, climate, and inclusion initiatives within the Creative Writing Program. The committee, called CSCWR (Centering Students in Creative Writing), will serve as a conduit for conveying information and suggestions to me, the current Program Director. The goal of the committee will be to make recommendations in the spirit of finding best practices that ensure that all students in our program feel respected, included and supported. The CSCW committee plans to meet with the students involved in the teach-ins and further engage with the aforementioned document of student demands in order to determine the best path forward. The committee will prepare one formal report each semester.

I would urge all students to keep this new resource in mind as we work to implement these initiatives in a systemic, comprehensive, and sustainable manner. You can review the list of committee members below or contact the entire committee by emailing CSCWR@princeton.edu.

You are invited to review a list of first initiatives the Creative Writing Program has taken, many in coordination with the LCA’s Committee on Climate and Inclusion. Though this list is still a work in progress, we would like to share with you, our students, the steps we have taken so far to address questions of climate and inclusion in our program.

Sincerely,

Jhumpa Lahiri

Professor and Director of Creative Writing

Associate Faculty, Department of French and Italian

Associate Faculty, Department of Comparative Literature

 


CSCWR Committee Members

To reach the entire committee, please email CSCWR@princeton.edu.

 

Michael Dickman
Lecturer in Creative Writing
mdickman@princeton.edu

 

 

A.M. Homes
Lecturer in Creative Writing
homes@princeton.edu

 

 

Idra Novey
Lecturer in Creative Writing
inovey@princeton.edu

 

 

Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Visiting Professor of Creative Writing
rrp2@princeton.edu

 

 

Susan Wheeler
Professor of Creative Writing
swheeler@princeton.edu

 

 

Erin West
Creative Writing Program Associate
erin.west@princeton.edu