Interview with 2019 Cabell First Novelist Award Fellow, April Sopkin

September 20, 2019

April is the 2019 Cabell First Novelist Award Fellow and in her third-year of the M.F.A. program for fiction.

Profile of the 2019 Levis Reading Prize Coordinator, AJ White

September 18, 2019

AJ is the 2019 Levis Reading Prize coordinator and in his third-year in the M.F.A. program for poetry.

Kathleen Graber Publishes Acclaimed New Poetry Collection

September 16, 2019

Kathleen Graber, associate professor in the Department of English, has published a new collection of poems, The River Twice, (Princeton University Press, 2019)...

Announcing the 2019 VCU Student Book-Collecting Contest

September 5, 2019

All VCU students, undergraduate and graduate, are invited to submit to the VCU Student Book-Collecting Contest...

Sonja Livingston’s New Essay Collection Explores Her Journey with Catholicism

September 5, 2019

Sonja Livingston has authored a new collection of essays, The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion (University of Nebraska Press)...

In Memoriam: Paule Marshall

August 16, 2019

22nd Annual Levis Reading Prize

July 9, 2019

Jenny Xie is the winner of the 2019 Levis Reading Prize...

2019 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

July 2, 2019

Ling Ma has won the 2019 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award...

Undergraduate Course Fair

March 26, 2019

2019 VCU Distinguished Visiting Writer Yiyun Li Welcomed

January 31, 2019

Acclaimed author, Yiyun Li, who teaches creative writing at Princeton University, is VCU’s 2019 Distinguished Visiting Writer...

Student Spotlight...

January 7, 2019

VCU News' latest student spotlight feature focuses on VCU English major, Glynis Boyd Hughes . . .

David Wojahn Wins 21st Annual Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry

October 22, 2018

The Library of Virginia on Saturday announced the winners of the 21st annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards...

Alumnus Author Seeks To Deliver ‘That Bruce Lee Punch’ With His Debut Collection

October 8, 2018

VCU English alum, X.C. Atkins, has just published his debut collection of short stories. Grace Street Alley and Other Stories ...

Hernán Díaz Wins the 2018 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

August 27, 2018

We are pleased to announce that Hernán Díaz has won the 2018 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for his novel, In the Distance...

Announcing the VCU 2018-19 Visiting Writers Series

August 20, 2018

We are pleased to announce an exciting and award-winning line up for our 2018-19 Visiting Writers Series...

Welcome Our Fall 2018 Incoming MA Class

August 19, 2018

Please welcome our Fall 2018 incoming MA in English class...

Welcome Our Incoming Fall 2018 MFA Class

August 19, 2018

Please welcome our Fall 2018 incoming MFA in Creative Writing class...

Welcome Our Incoming Fall 2018 MATX Class

August 19, 2018

Please welcome our Fall 2018 incoming PhD in Media, Art and Text class...

An Update on Our MATXers

August 7, 2018

An update on several of our MATX alums and current PhD students...

2018 Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

July 17, 2018

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 undergraduate scholarships and awards...

Kaveh Akbar Wins 21st Annual Levis Reading Prize

July 13, 2018

Kaveh Akbar is the winner of the 2018 Levis Reading Prize for his poetry collection Calling a Wolf a Wolf...

MA Alumni Update

July 13, 2018

Selected news from our MA in English program alumni...

MFA Alumni Update

July 6, 2018

Recent news from our MFA alumni...

MFA Program Announces Specialized GTA Positions

June 1, 2018

The MFA program is pleased to formally announce the selections for next year’s specialized GTA positions...

VCU English Alum Featured on PBS

May 28, 2018

PBS News Hour recently featured VCU English alum and prize-winning author Kevin Powers as a part of its Memorial Day coverage...

Alumna’s Novel, Featured in O, The Oprah Magazine

May 25, 2018

VCU MFA graduate Michele Young-Stone's latest novel, Lost in the Beehive follows a young woman growing up in the 1960s...

Recent Faculty & Student Accomplishments

April 6, 2018

We are happy to report the following recent faculty and student accomplishments...

Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize

April 5, 2018

Adam Latham was awarded the 2018 Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize for outstanding short fiction...

New Diversion Program Featured

March 2, 2018

NBC Channel 12 did a story on the new diversion program Professor David Coogan launched...

ENGLISH FACULTY FORUM - Assistant Professor Michael Hall

February 28, 2018

Join us for the next English Faculty Forum: Wednesday (2/28) 12-1pm in Hibbs 308...

MA Alums Land Academic Posts

February 19, 2018

Congratulations go out to two MA in English program alums...

Solmaz Sharif Wins 20th Annual Levis Reading Prize

February 6, 2018

Solmaz Sharif has been named the winner of the 2017 Levis Reading Prize for her poetry collection, Look...

VCU Visiting Writers: MFA Alumni Spotlight Event

January 31, 2018

As a part of the VCU Visiting Writers series we welcome MFA alums Roselyn Elliott, Nathan Long, Emilia Phillips and Michele Young-Stone...

Moveable Feast!

April 28, 2017

Monthly series of readings by VCU Department of English Graduate Students...

Levis Reading Prize

March 29, 2018

Welcome Our Spring 2018 Incoming MA Class!!!

January 11, 2018

Welcome our Spring 2018 incoming MA class!!!

Ghanaian Poet & Scholar -- Kofi Anyidoho

September 19, 2017

Please help us welcome Ghanaian poet and scholar Kofi Anyidoho speak on African literature in memory of English Professor Emeritus Richard Priebe...

Jade Chang wins VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

September 13, 2017

 Jade Chang has won the 2017 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, which honors an outstanding debut novel published during a calendar year.

2017-18 VCU Visiting Writers Series Begins!

September 11, 2017

The Department of English MFA Program in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University annually invites writers to campus for public readings. The department also sponsors the Levis Reading Prize and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. In addition, we are delighted to be co-sponsoring the Humanities Research Center event featuring acclaimed author, Junot Díaz.

MATXer Andrew Spencer Articles Accepted for Publication

August 29, 2017

MATX PhD candidate Andrew Spencer has had two articles accepted for publication.

Livingston Wins VanderMey Nonfiction Prize

August 23, 2017

Creative nonfiction writer and essayist Sonja Livingston's essay "Like This, We Begin: An Essay in Two Photographs" has won the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize from Ruminate Magazine

New Book by Lina M. Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

August 21, 2017

Incoming faculty member Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’ new book, Don’t Come Back (Mad River Books), is a collection of lyrical and narrative essays exploring identity, family history, and belonging, continually examining what it means to feel familiarity but never really feel at home.

New Faculty Books In 2017

August 18, 2017

Please Welcome Our Fall 2017 Incoming MA Class

August 18, 2017

Our incoming MA Class of Fall 2017...

Welcome Our Incoming Fall 2017 MFAers…

August 16, 2017

Welcome the incoming MFAers of Fall 2017!

New Book by Postdoctoral Fellow Jason Price

July 24, 2017

Jason Price's new book, Animals and Desire in South African Fiction: Biopolitics and the Resistance to Colonization (Palgrave 2017) discusses the political potential of affective experiences of desire as reflected in contemporary South African literature.

2017 Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

June 30, 2017

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards!

New Book by Shimomura and Brinegar

July 21, 2017

Sachi Shimomura and John Brinegar, along with Sachi's father, Osamu Shimomura, have collaborated to write a narrative of Osamu Shimomura's unexpected path to the Nobel Prize in an aptly titled book, Luminous Pursuit: Jellyfish, GFP, and the Unforeseen Path to the Nobel Prize (World Scientific 2017).

In Memoriam: Richard Karl Priebe (1943-2017)

June 16, 2017

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English is saddened to report that Professor Emeritus Richard Karl Priebe passed away on June 9, 2017. 

English Grads to Serve in Peace Corps

June 12, 2017

English department graduates Erin Geraghty and Erica Ingram will share their knowledge of the English language by serving stints in the Peace Corps.

2017 Levis Reading Price Semi-Finalists

June 1, 2017

The following poetry collections have been listed as semi-finalists for the 2017 Levis Reading Prize:

VCU Cabell First Novelist 2017 Semi-Finalists

June 28, 2017

The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Committee announced mid-June the semi-finalists for the 2017 award:

New Book by Matteo Pangallo

July 19, 2017

New faculty member Matteo Pangallo (Assistant Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern English Literature) has just published his first monograph, Playwriting Playgoers in Shakespeare's Theater (U of Pennsylvania Press).

May Graduates Publish with a Mission

May 12, 2017

May 2017 graduates Taneasha White and Brandon Clarkson recently created online publishing platforms to highlight their own writing and that of others.

VCU Peru

May 4, 2017

For 20 years, VCU students have benefited from the transformative experience of studying abroad...

Coogan to Speak on Memoirs of Mass Incarceration

April 27, 2017

Associate Professor David Coogan, author of Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail and founder and co-director of Open Minds, a program that enables college students to take courses in the arts and humanities with men and women incarcerated at the Richmond City Justice Center, will speak...

David Coogan’s “Strip Poker: A Writing Workshop at the City Jail”

April 15, 2009

David Coogan’s Prison Writing Workshop proposal was accepted as one of VCU’s 10 Exemplary Projects, and submitted for national competition for inclusion on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

VCU Grads PhD-bound!

April 11, 2017

Four graduates of the MA Program have been accepted into PhD programs...

Kathleen Graber Recipient of Arts and Letters Award in Literature

April 10, 2017

Associate Professor and poet Kathleen Graber has been chosen to receive an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Only eight awards are given annually to honor writers of exceptional accomplishments.

David Coogan to Speak at Faculty Scholarship Recognition Event

April 10, 2017

English Associate Professor David Coogan, co-Director of the Open Minds project between VCU and the Richmond City Jail, has been invited to speak about his recent book, Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail, at the Faculty Scholarship Recognition event on Thursday, April 13th at 9:15 a.m. in the Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms.

Dr. Scott Stevens: “Memory and Memorials in Indian Country: or How Living Memory Creates the Past”

April 11, 2017

This lecture, sponsored by the VCU Department of English in conjunction with The Humanities Research Center and The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, considers the notion of “Indian Country” in relationship to its shifting borders throughout the span of US history...

What Do You Do With An English Major?

April 7, 2017

What do you do with two degrees in English, you ask? VCU English BA and MA graduate Aíne Norris has the answer!

“A Few Words with David Wojahn” on For the Scribe

April 6, 2017

David Wojahn shares insights into his latest collection of poetry, For the Scribe, in the current issue of the College of Humanities & Sciences’ online newsletter.

Interview with Alum Patty Smith in VCU News

March 30, 2017

English alum Patty Smith (MFA/Fiction ’01), author of The Year of Needy Girls, is interviewed in the March 30th edition of VCU News.  Patty’s debut novel examines homophobia, false accusations and community unrest.

Dr. Cristina Stanciu Receives NEH Stipend Award

March 31, 2017

Congratulations go out to Assistant Professor Cristina Stanciu who received a $6,000 summer stipend from the National Endowment of the Humanities in support of her second book, “The Makings and Unmakings of Americans: Indians and Immigrants in American Literature and Culture, 1879-1924,” which is under contract with Yale University Press.

Dave Coogan Featured in DCE’s 10th Anniversary, H&S News

March 8, 2017

The Division of Community Engagement celebrates its 10th anniversary by highlighting VCU faculty who advance community-engaged teaching and scholarship. English Associate Professor David Coogan is featured on the DCE’s website for his work with Open Minds, a program that pairs VCU students with Richmond City Justice Center jail residents to share their stories in writing workshops. Of Dave’s contribution to our students and the community, Dr. Montse Fuentes writes, “David Coogan is an inspiration to all of us…. He is making a difference by with great passion promoting our community engagement mission. We are incredibly proud to have him in the College…”

Two British Virginia Editions Published

February 24, 2017

Associate Professor Joshua Eckhardt announces that British Virginia has published two matching editions: type and photo facsimiles of the official Virginia Company response to the 1622 assault on the James: Edward Waterhouse’s Declaration of the State of the Colony and Affaires in Virginia. Colonial historians have long assigned modern editions of part of Waterhouse’s narrative. The British Virginia editions provide the entirety of this book, and they provide it for free.

Cokal Named One of Style Weekly’s 2017 “Women in the Arts”

February 24, 2017

Associate Professor Susann Cokal has been named one of Style Weekly’s 2017 Women in the Arts for her “dynamic and forward-thinking” commitment to the arts in the community.

English Alum Cory MacLauchlin’s Biography to Become Feature Film

February 9, 2017

A Butterfly in the Typewriter, Cory MacLauchin’s biography of John Kennedy Toole, Pulitzer prize-winning author of A Confederacy of Dunces, will be made into a feature film starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Offerman. The movie, shot entirely in the New Orleans area, is targeted for a 2018 release.

Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities

May 4, 2016

Professor David Golumbia has joined forces with several other colleagues to compose a scathing internationally collaborative anti-Digital Humanities essay.

VCU Department of English 50th Anniversary

May 1, 2016

VCU Department of English’s Bachelor of Arts Program celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2016. On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 faculty, fellow alumni, and friends of the department joined in the celebration hosted at the VCU Scott House.

New Book of Poems by Clint McCown

December 7, 2016

Clint McCown’s latest volume of poems, Total Balance Farm, has been published by Press 53. Of the book, poet Kevin Stein writes that “Clint McCown’s meditative locale is a menagerie of hawks and hummingbirds, eagles and turtles, a wife’s idle boot and the brown recluse who’ll find uneasy home in it.

Kirkus Reviews Lists Ladies Night at the Dreamland in Best of 2016

December 7, 2016

Sonja Livingston’s book, Ladies Night at the Dreamland, has been selected as a Best Book of 2016 (Nonfiction) by Kirkus Reviews.

Comba’s Collection of Short Stories

October 31, 2016

Gretchen Comba’s new collection of short stories, The Stillness of the Picture, has been published by Kore Press.  Comba’s fiction has appeared in a number of journals including Hayden’s Ferry Review and The North American Review.

After the Fire…The Fire Still Burns

October 11, 2016

Former VCU Professor and renown poet Larry Levis is the feature of a new documentary, “A Late Style of Fire.”  VCU MFA alum Michele Poulos is director and producer of “A Late Style of Fire,” which was also co-produced by Professor Greg Donovan.

Golumbia’s “Bitcoin” Book Published

September 20, 2016

Associate Professor David Golumbia’s book, The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism, has been published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Blackbird Editor Mary Flinn Among 2016 Women in the Arts Honorees

March 10, 2016

Mary Flinn, a senior and founding editor of Blackbird, was honored as one of the 2016 Women in the Arts recipients at a luncheon held at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts on March 10, 2016.

The Church of Poet Larry Levis is Still Alive and Well

January 19, 2016

Recently, folks gathered at Chop Suey Books to celebrate a new collection of poetry, “Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems” which marks a posthumous return by acclaimed poet and former VCU teacher Larry Levis. 

Sandra Lim Wins 18th Annual Levis Reading Prize for The Wilderness

July 10, 2015

Sandra Lim is the winner of the 2015 Levis Reading Prize awarded by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University for her poetry collection The Wilderness (W.W. Norton, 2014).

Blackbird Poet Selected for Best American Poetry

February 25, 2015

Sherman Alexie, this year’s guest editor of The Best American Poetry, selected Sidney Wade’s poem “The Chickasaw Trees” (Blackbird v13n1) for inclusion in the ​2015 edition ​​to ​be published by Scribner this​ September.


New H&S Scholarship Website

December 19, 2014

the college of humanities and sciences has introduced a new website,, with information and an online application process for the over 100 scholarship opportunities we offer to currently enrolled students. the system features a searchable database of opportunities and details the requirements for each. this system will offer a more student-centric experience, streamlines our administrative and fiscal managements of scholarships, and allows us to improve stewardship of our donors who invest in our students.


Blackbird Announces Fall 2015 Issue

November 20, 2015

Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts announces its new Fall 2015 issue, v14n2.

Department of English Mourns Loss of Colleague Claudia Emerson

December 9, 2014

It is with great sadness that we report the loss of colleague Claudia Emerson, who passed away December 4th after a courageous battle with cancer.  The tremendous impact she had on the literary arts is highlighted in VCU News as well as in the department’s online literary journal Blackbird. For all of her English department friends, colleagues and students, her death is a heartbreaking loss.

Open Minds’ Sanctuary Highlighted in Commonwealth Times

November 14, 2014

English MFA alum and VCU’s Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Assistant Professor Liz Canfield fulfills her passion for activism by participating in Sanctuary, an offshoot of the Open Minds program. Open Minds, a joint venture between VCU and the Richmond City Jail, was founded in 2010 by English Associate Professor David Coogan. Canfield began teaching in Open Minds in the fall of 2011.

Wojahn Poem Featured in “We the Poets” Celebration of American Archives Month

October 22, 2014

English Professor David Wojahn was one of eight poets commissioned by the National Archives, in partnership with the Academy of American Poets, to write a poem inspired by any record in possession of the National Archives.

MA Alum John Cyrus Secures Tenure Track Position

June 1, 2009

MA Alum John Cyrus finished a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University (LSU) in May and will be starting as a tenure track Liaison Librarian on the faculty at LSU Health Science Center.

Andrea Cleary Awarded Levis Fellowship

May 18, 2009

MFA student Andrea Cleary has been selected to serve as next year’s Larry Levis Fellow in support of the administration of the Levis Reading Prize.

Kate Bradley (MFA/Fiction) Recognized by AWP Intro Journals Project

May 1, 2009

Kate Bradley (MFA/Fiction) was selected as one of the fiction winners of this year’s AWP Intro Journals Project (a competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students currently enrolled in the programs of AWP).

Lee Bloxom Awarded PNC Foundation Grant

April 29, 2009

MATX student Lee Bloxom has been awarded an $8,000 grant to conduct an oral history of 20th century farm life on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The announcement comes from The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the PNC Foundation who made the award jointly.

Clint McCown’s Dead Languages Nominated for Several Honors

April 27, 2009

Clint McCown’s latest collection, Dead Languages, was nominated for several significant honors, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize, the Yale Bollingen Prize, the Poet’s Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, the Bobbitt Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Professor Tara Bray’s First Poetry Collection Published

March 13, 2009

Professor Tara Bray’s first poetry collection, Mistaken For Song, was the winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and was just published.

Blackbird volume 8, number 1

May 21, 2009

Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts has published its spring issue with more than forty contributors. Blackbird vol 8, no 1 features work by Taylor Thu Hien Ngo, Anna Journey, Thomas Cooper, Kara Candito, Nicky Beer, Claudia Emerson, and Jean Valentine. Find these writers (and a redesigned splash page) at

Kathy Bassard Awarded CTE Grant

May 4, 2009

Department of English faculty member Kathy Bassard has won a VCU Center for Teaching Excellence grant to create a Faculty Learning Community for next academic year.

Dale Smith Awarded Cabell Fellowship

May 15, 2009

The First Novelist Selection Committee announces the appointment of MFA student Dale Smith to the Cabell Fellowship for the 2009-2010 academic year. Funded by the Cabell Associates of VCU’s University Libraries–and named after the famed Richmond author James Branch Cabell–the Cabell Fellowship provides year-long assistance in the administration of the Cabell First Novelist Award.

Katie Ford Awarded Larry Levis Reading Prize

May 18, 2009

Katie Ford’s Colosseum, from Graywolf Press, has been chosen as this year’s winner of the Larry Levis reading prize. Runners up for the prize were Jake Adam York’s A Murmuration of Starlings and Craig Arnold’s Made Flesh.

Upcoming Deadlines

Department Orientation Sessions
AUGUST 15, 2019

Classes Begin
AUGUST 20, 2019

Add/Drop Deadline
AUGUST 26, 2019

Graduation Application Deadline

Fall Reading Day
OCTOBER 10, 2019

Course Withdrawal Deadline
NOVEMBER 1, 2019

Last Day of Classes
DECEMBER 9, 2019

British Virginia

British Virginia logo: simply the words

British Virginia is a VCU-hosted series of scholarly editions of documents touching on the colony. These texts range from the 16th and 17th-century literature of English exploration to the 19th-century writing of loyalists and other Virginians who continued to identify with Great Britain. Editions appear principally in digital form, freely downloadable. 

Learn more about British Virginia
Visit British Virginia