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Working with a faculty that believes strongly in the importance of imaginative and questioning work, Hampshire students are encouraged to develop a responsive vision of the world around them, sharpening their writing skills as they explore a wide range of disciplines.

All Hampshire students are writers, as courses require substantial writing in many varied forms. Hampshire is one of relatively few colleges offering writing as a major, and students can concentrate on writing directly, or as it relates to other interests. Those who concentrate in creative writing enroll in small, intensive workshops and seminars in poetry, fiction, playwriting, creative memoir, and literary journalism. Students are constantly asked to write and rewrite, receiving detailed critiques from faculty and peers.

Hampshire's robust writing culture extends across the curriculum, as students are invited to produce voiced, lyrical, vigorous writing in every discipline. Hampshire's committee system facilitates the cross-disciplinary faculty supervision of students exploring unexpected combinations of form and content: plays about mountain top removal, poems about atom bomb testing, novels exploring theoretical linguistics, and histories as narrative.

Affiliated Faculty

Student Project Titles

  • Jak v Nebi, Tak na Zemi: Writing the Experience of Art and Travel
  • The bold and the ethereal
  • Dead Ends, or, Stories from the Backseat
  • Talking to History: A Story through Images and Words
  • Painfully Pretty: Examining Beauty, Heartache, and Romance through Photography and Prose
  • Walking the Imagination
  • Property and Language: Fictions and Essays

Sample First-Year Course

Intro to Writing

This course will explore the work of scholars, essayists, and creative writers in order to use their prose as models for our own. We'll analyze scholarly explication and argument; we'll also try to appreciate the artistry in our finest personal essays and short fiction. Students will complete a series of critical essays in the humanities and natural sciences and follow with a personal essay and a piece of short fiction. Students will have an opportunity to submit their work for peer review and discussion; students will also meet individually with instructors. Frequent, enthusiastic revision is an expectation.

Sample Courses at Hampshire *
  • Introduction to Writing
  • Writing the Urban Experience
  • Writing World War II
  • Camelot in Crisis: Writing About the Kennedy Era
  • High Spirits: Reading and Writing About Spiritual Experience
  • Animals Among Us: Reading and Writing About Animals
  • The Good Life: Reading and Writing About Pleasures
  • Feminist Fictions

Through the Consortium
  • Clearing Customs: Locations and Dislocations in Travel Literature (SC)
  • English Composition (UMass)
  • Writing, Identity, and Culture (SC)
* These course samples do not include courses in fiction and poetry, journalism, or playwriting.

Facilities and Resources

Hampshire College Writing Center
The Hampshire College Writing Center is open to all students at the College. The center is available to help students with writing skills, from brainstorming to drafting paragraphs to writing a final paper. Students can use the center for one-time-only assistance or on a regular basis. The Writing Center also offers courses that focus on writing across the curriculum, and provides workshops in writing skills and in training undergraduate teaching assistants.

Recent News in Writing

Poetry Professor Aracelis Girmay

Hampshire College poetry professor Aracelis Girmay has won a 2015 Whiting Award.

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