The UW Creative Writing Program celebrated its 50th anniversary on May 27, 1997 at the Henry Art Gallery on the UW campus.
The 50-year history of the program is a long and distinguished one. It began in 1947 with the arrival of poet Theodore Roethke (see Poet Theodore Roethke) and continued through the years with an acclaimed roster of faculty members.
As of 1997, current faculty include nationally and internationally known writers such as National Book Award winner Charles Johnson (see Charles Johnson: National Book Award Winner); award winning authors Linda Bierds, David Bosworth, Richard Kenney, Colleen McElroy, Heather McHugh, David Shields, and Maya Sonenberg; Poetry Northwest editor David Wagoner (see Poetry Northwest); and Shawn Wong, director of the program.
The UW's Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing recently was ranked number 10 in the country by US News & World Report. Among the students who have taken creative writing courses as graduates or undergraduates are James Wright, Richard Hugo, Carolyn Kizer, Tess Gallagher, and Mayor Norm Rice.