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English, Creative Writing, and Book Arts Program

Early Printing Studio

Read, write, and make books on the coast of Maine. 

The wild coastal region of Downeast Maine captivates the imagination of poets, writers, and artists. Drawing inspiration from this setting, the English, Creative Writing, & Book Arts Program offers individualized training in literature with a special focus on creative writing and publishing. No other undergraduate program in the country provides its students such unique opportunities that include publication in a professional press by graduation.

The Program’s hallmark curriculum combines the scholarly study of literature, creative writing, and the aesthetics of hands-on practical publishing so the student can engage in the complete process of literature from inspiration through publication to marketing and publicity. Students select courses in American, British, and world literature.  They practice their craft as writers through these courses and through workshops and independent studies in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting. Through class work and internship opportunities, students gain invaluable experience in book and periodical publication in its many different forms—fine letterpress, desktop, digital, and high speed production.

Students are directly involved in editing, book design, printing, and marketing of various publications, including books produced by the UMM Press. Work takes place in small classroom settings and in the Program’s professional Book Arts Studio, all located in the last untouched section of the Eastern Seaboard.

Career Preparation

Find out how the New England Regional Program can save you money.
Because the English, Creative Writing, & Book Arts Program is formally recognized as unique, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

There is no better time to study literature, creative writing, and book arts than the present. Historically, the demand has never been higher for individuals with outstanding skills in written and spoken communication. As books undergo revolutionary changes in the digital age, there comes both a renewed appreciation for the traditional handcrafts as well as an exciting exploration of new possibilities.

The English, Creative Writing, & Book Arts Program uniquely prepares its majors for success. The Program provides a seamless transition to graduate degrees in English, creative writing, and book arts, but it also provides a solid foundation for other careers: journalism, editing, publishing, book design, teaching, marketing, public relations, archive and museum management, law, library science, and broadcasting. Importantly, all students leave the Program with hands on experience in editing, publishing, and the aesthetics of book design.

Program of Study

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Meet the Faculty

The faculty members of the English, Creative Writing, & Book Arts Program are distinguished with remarkable professional advancement and accomplishment.

Lynne Hepler, Assistant Professor of English

Lynne Hepler Since 2006, Lynne has published five novels, which include Jars of Glass, Dream Factory, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, Love? Maybe, and The Cupcake Queen, last two being selected by the Scholastic Book Club. Her work has earned numerous awards in the field of young adult fiction. Lynne earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas. lhepler@maine.edu

Marcus LiBrizzi, Professor of English - Click for details

Marcus LiBrizziSince 2007, Marcus LiBrizzi has published four books, the most recent being Ghosts of Acadia. Two of these books are scholarly, and two are creative nonfiction. His work has received national attention: Dark Woods, Chill Waters was the book that inspired an ABC Extreme Make-Over—Home Edition episode in 2007 and a special investigative report by Sirens Media for the Weather Channel in 2014. Lost Atusville also received a national spotlight 2009, when it was featured in a front-page review in The New Republic and when it was mentioned in an online editorial page of The New York Times.

Tessa Mellas, Assistant Professor of English - Click for details

Tessa Mellas holds a BA from St. Lawrence University, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and leading national journals. Her recently released book, Lungs Full of Noise, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and was published by the University of Iowa Press. She specializes in transatlantic modern and contemporary fiction.

Gerard NeCastro, Professor of English - Click for details

Gerard NeCastroGerard NeCastro has edited Mankind, a TEAMS volume of the most popular medieval play; he founded Medica: The Society for the Study of Healing in the Middle Ages; he created and maintains the eChaucer website, which includes all of Chaucer’s texts, including original translations and a complete concordance; he also created and maintains Stage to Page, a website that includes almost all Middle English drama and miscellaneous Tudor plays.

Bernie Vinzani, Associate Professor of Art - Click for details

Bernie VinzaniBernie Vinzani, achieving recognition in his field, was featured in the following publications: Hand Papermaking 25, showcasing work from 25 papermakers celebrating the 25th anniversary of the journal Hand Papermaking, Beltsville, Maryland, 2010; Sylvie Turner’s The Book of Fine Paper (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998). In addition, he designed and organized the book arts printing facility and the Gallery for the Book at UMM and was the site host for the International Paper and Book Intensive at UMM in July 2010.

Publications, Organizations, and Venues

  • The UMM Press
  • The Binnacle
  • Washington County Writer’s Symposium
  • Annual UMM Poetry Fiction Readings
  • Open Mic Nights
  • Araby a.k.a. The Dead Poets Society
  • Options to mount an original play at the Performing Arts Center or Art Galleries

Student Resources

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