Department of English

Flowers Hall Room 365
Telephone: 512-245-2163 Fax: 512-245-8546

The discipline of English is expansive, and graduate programs may focus on one or more subdisciplines, including literature, rhetoric and composition, technical communication, and creative writing. The English Department at Texas State offers graduate courses that apply the most important current critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature, help promising poets and fiction writers master their crafts, teach rhetorical skills to future expository writers and teachers of writing, cover the numerous kinds of writing demanded by rapidly changing technologies, and more. The department’s graduate programs serve students with many interests by offering dozens of courses on a wide variety of topics. Students may focus on a single element of English studies or may combine elements. Our integrative approach allows students  simultaneously to study beyond a single emphasis and to research a more focused specialization. Please visit the Graduate Programs tab on the department's website for more specific information about our majors.

Financial Assistance

Graduate students in the M.A. programs may apply for appointments of up to two years as instructional or teaching assistants; students in the M.F.A. program may apply for appointments of up to three years. Instructional assistants have completed fewer than 18 graduate hours in English and have limited duties; teaching assistants have completed 18 or more hours in English and have a wider range of teaching duties. Assistants ordinarily have assignments in composition courses or surveys of literature. Applications are available from graduate program directors.

Graduate students may apply for a number of departmental scholarships, including the Janie M. Grayson English Graduate Fellowship, the G. Jack Gravitt Scholarship, the Ralph and Fancys Houston Scholarships,  the William F. McKeen III Scholarship, the Judith Caldwell Miller Scholarship, the Billy G. Moore Endowed Scholarship, the Mamie E. Smith Memorial Scholarship, the David R. Stevens Memorial Scholarship, the Mary-Agnes Taylor Endowed Scholarship, the Ione Dodson Young Endowed Scholarship, the Peterson-Charles Mosley Scholarship, and the Leonard and Elizabeth Wright Scholarship for Future Teachers. Contact a graduate program director for applications or additional information.

The Graduate College oversees additional scholarships and may be contacted at 512.245.2581 for further scholarship information.

The Therese Kayser Lindsey Endowment for Literature

The Lindsey Endowment, dedicated April 11, 1978, is a gift of Mrs. Louise Lindsey Merrick to the Texas State University Foundation, made in memory of her mother, Therese Kayser Lindsey. A noted poet and patron of the arts, Mrs. Lindsey attended Southwest Texas State Normal School, completing her degree in 1905. She published four volumes of poetry and helped organize the Poetry Society of Texas.

The endowment, along with the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, supports the mission of the department by sponsoring readings by distinguished writers and scholars such as Mortimer Adler, Kazim Ali, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Cisneros, Natalie Diaz, Rita Dove, Louise Erdrich, Stanley Fish, Carolyn Forche, Ben Fountain, Allen Ginsberg, Jory Graham, Lauren Groff, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Terrance Hayes, T. Geronimo Johnson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Denise Levertov, Larry McMurtry, W.S. Merwin, N. Scott Momaday, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nnedi Okorafor, Annie Proulx, Karen Russell, Tracy K. Smith, Gary Snyder, Helen Vendler, Alice Walker, and Charles Wright.

Visiting writers and scholars often meet with graduate classes, attend question-and-answer sessions, and hold informal discussions with graduate students.

The University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing

The University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing brings distinguished writers annually to teach graduate writing workshops and to give public readings. Former chair holders include MacArthur Foundation Fellow Leslie Marmon Silko, National Book Award winning poet Ai, Pulitzer Prize finalist Barry Hannah, National Book Award winner Denis Johnson, American Book Award winner Li-Young Lee, National Book Award winner Robert Stone, National Book Award finalist Cristina Garcia, National Book Critics Circle Award Winner Ben Fountain, and National Book Award winner Tim O’Brien. Fiction writer Tim O'Brien and Poet Naomi Shihab Nye are both professors of Creative writing and continuing members of  the M.F.A. program’s faculty.

From Fall 2017 through Spring 2022, the chair holder will be Tea Obreht, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction and a finalist for the National Book Award. 

The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center

Established in 2000, the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center is based in the childhood home of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author. The Center is host to numerous visiting writers each year. The house was dedicated as a National Literary Landmark in June 2002, by the Friends of Libraries USA and the Library of Congress.

The L.D. and LaVerne Harrell Clark Literary Endowment and Fiction Prize

In 2009, writers L.D. and LaVerne Harrell Clark donated their Smithville, Texas home and property to Texas State to create an endowment for writers-in-residence. The endowment was subsequently enlarged to support Clark Fellows and the Clark Fiction Prize, an annual national award recognizing an exceptional book-length work of fiction. Awardees come to campus to receive the prize and offer a public reading. The inaugural prize was received in 2017 by Jim Shepard for The Book of Aron, and most recently in 2020 by Rebecca Makkai for The Great Believers.

Cassells, Cyrus, Regents' Professor, English, A.M., Stanford University

Dorst, Douglas K, Associate Professor, English, M.F.A., University of Iowa

Hammett, Chad A, Senior Lecturer, English, M.F.A., Texas State University

Johnson, Vanessa Anne Couto, Lecturer, English, M.F.A., Texas State University

Robblee, Sarah Katrina, Lecturer, English, Ph.D., Texas Tech University