Alejandro Cuellar

Director of the Writing Program and Senior Faculty Associate
Hampshire College Writing Instructor Alejandro Cueller
Contact Alejandro

Mail Code WP
Alejandro Cuellar
Writing Resource Center
413.559.5748

Alejandro Cuellar, director of the writing program and senior faculty associate, received his B.A. from Hampshire College and his M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

His writing concentrates on American identity, biculturalism, and bilingualism, with a primary focus on Latinx and Latin American/Caribbean immigrant narratives. He has taught at UMass-Amherst, Smith College, and Holyoke Community College.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This course will explore the work of scholars, essayists, and creative writers in order to use their prose as models for our own. We will analyze scholarly explication and argument, and we'll appreciate the artistry in our finest personal essays and short fiction. Students will complete a series of critical essays across the curriculum and for varied audiences and purposes. Students will have an opportunity to submit their work for peer review and discussion. Students will also meet individually with the instructors. Frequent, enthusiastic revision is an expectation. Limited to Division I Students.

  • In this course, we will examine how narrators and narration drive and impose structure onto short stories. By doing so, we will begin to consider the role of the narrator in our own creative work. We will study the role narrators play in the function of the stories they tell, whether they feature in those stories or not. Thinking about the veracity of our narrators, we will approach storytelling by thinking about what these narrators add to our stories, and of course what they know and what they think they know, with respect to the story they are telling, and how all of that affects the reader's understanding of the piece. You will submit two original stories for workshop, and write a short analytical essay (2-3 pgs) on one of the published works we read. Keywords: creative writing, writing program, fiction.

  • No description available

  • Poetry is enigmatic, mercurial, lush, and profound. It is avant-garde, political, bold, and equally quiet. These are some of the reasons that often, poetry is both immensely appealing and yet, can feel intimidating, both to read and write. In this course we will look at several varieties of poems and read them closely, trying to get at the meaning they want to convey, and the meaning that we draw from them. We will also study form, structure, and other traditional and untraditional tenets of poetry. Students will also write their own original work and submit them to our workshops. We will go through several prompts and exercises to help you generate your poems. You will also write for your final portfolio a short analytical essay on some of the published pieces we will read. Active, enthusiastic participation is expected. (keywords: Writing Program, Writing, Creative Writing, Poetry)

  • Home is where we live in every sense, but "Home" is more than the physical structure we reside in: it is also the psychological, societal, emotional, and even the mythical. In this course, we will read a variety of fiction and non-fiction and explore the importance of these spaces, be they physical or metaphysical, to the construction of "home" and more importantly, how these terms, whether we accept them wholly, shun them entirely, or experience via travel and immigration, dictate to us and others a sense of self and identity via our own writing. We will write a mix of critical essays, personal/reflective writings, and creative work as we also delve into the process of writing: topic selection, drafting, and a variety of techniques for revision, including peer review. Individual meetings with the instructor will be required. Limited to First-Year Students.

  • We will read short fiction and narrative essays from published authors in order to better understand the decisions they made and how those decisions serve their narratives. In other words, we will read and try to understand their decisions by trying to read them as writers would. Authors will include Lahiri, Kincaid, O'Connor, Alexie, and Adichie. Students will write two creative pieces of writing, one non-fiction and one fiction, for discussion and workshop. Students will also meet individually with the instructor. The final portfolio will include one short critical essay that analyzes the published writing, and revised versions of the pieces submitted for workshop. Enthusiastic participation during discussions and revision is expected. (keywords: writing program, creative writing)

  • This workshop provides assistance to students who are starting large writing projects and research papers in any discipline at Hampshire for their Division III. The course offers a structured, two-and-a-half-hour block of time in which to write and receive feedback on pre-writing (brainstorming, outlining, etc.), writing, and revision. Special attention will be paid to the writing process: conceptualization, organization, and pacing oneself through work blocks and writing anxieties, as well as getting yourself and your Division III organized and started. In addition to having access to structured writing time, participants will have the opportunity to meet individually with the instructor(s). Because this class supplements work already in progress, no formal instructor evaluations will be provided and the completion of this workshop will not count as course credit or an advanced learning activity. The first class meeting will be on September 15.

  • In this course, we will look closely at the structure of longform prose, including non-fiction as well as fiction. We will read longform essays, a short story collection, and a novel, and we will consider how each is organized by paying close attention to how the craft of each serves the content, and vice versa. We will then read and workshop short stories, longform non-fiction, and novel excerpts by your peers, paying attention to craft in the service of content, and how all of that affects the reader's understanding of the piece. You will submit two pieces for workshop, and write one 3-5 page analytical essay that engages with the published material. Published works from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Octavia Butler, and Maggie Nelson may be included. This is an intermediate creative writing workshop and is ideal for rising Division III students. (keywords: writing, creative writing, workshop, fiction)