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Featured Stories

Charif Shanahan's poetry collection, Trace Evidence, is one of ten books on the 2023 National Book Award for Poetry Longlist.
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Susannah Gottlieb's 2023 Auden and the Muse of History was named as a finalist for the Poetry Foundation's 2023 Pegasus Award in Poetry Criticism. The prize honors an outstanding book length work of poetry criticism published in the U.S. in the previous year.
Chris Abani has won the 2023 UNT Rilke Prize for Smoking The Bible, his 2022 poetry collection. He is also a finalist for the 2024 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the winner of which will be announced in October.
Paulina Jones-Torregrosa, doctoral candidate in the English Department, has been selected as a 2023 Presidential Fellow and new member of the Northwestern University Society of Fellows. Jones-Torregrosa works at the intersections of literary, ethnic, and feminist studies, and her dissertation, “We’re All on the Line’: Women of Color Print Solidarities, 1970-1991,” analyzes U.S. women of color feminists’ rigorous critique of transnational inequalities.
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Our Programs





Litowitz MFA+MA in English and Creative Writing

This program offers intimate classes, the opportunity to pursue both creative and critical writing, and close mentorship by renowned faculty in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Our three-year curriculum gives students time to deepen both their creative writing and their study of literature. Students complete two degrees concurrently --an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English.

Apply to the MFA+MA Program

MA in English Literature

Designed to be completed in one year and flexible in its requirements, our Master's in Literature allows students considerable freedom in choosing courses in English and in related disciplines. Most are planning to move on to Doctoral study elsewhere, improve their credentials as teachers in secondary schools and community colleges, or to take their experience into the business and publishing sectors.

Apply to the Master's Program

PhD in English Literature

Our PhD program offers advanced study and research in literary history, criticism, and theory, with excellent opportunities for study between both disciplines and departments. Courses within the department cover major genres, periods, authors, and a broad range of methodological and theoretical approaches. Significant support in professional development and on the job market are cornerstones of the program.

Apply to the Doctoral Program

News and Upcoming Events


Featured Department Events



Peter Orner Reading

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Evanston

Chicago-born Peter Orner is the author of two novels published by Little, Brown: THE SECOND COMING OF MAVALA SHIKONGO, 2006 and LOVE AN...

Raven Leilani Reading

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Evanston

Raven Leilani Baptiste is an American writer whose debut novel, Luster, was published in 2020 under the name Raven Leilani. Her work ha...

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Charif Shanahan serves as Poetry magazine guest editor for summer 2023

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