Experience English: Live the Written Word

Pursue a degree in English and live what you love.  The English department at IUE will afford you the chance to grow as a writer, examine the timelessness of the world's greatest writers, and become a part of a dynamic program.

English Department Mission

The English Department affirms its crucial role in building intellectual, artistic, and professional knowledge through the study and writing of literature and language in one of our four areas of study: composition studies, creative writing, literature, and technical and professional writing.

Bachelor of Arts in English Concentrations

Creative Writing: Within the English degree, students can choose to concentrate in Creative Writing, with courses in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction.  Students will explore writing in various forms: short stories, novels, poetry, memoir, documentary writing, and more.  Creative opportunities include Tributaries, the IUE literary magazine; internships; visiting writers; and field trips.

Literature: A literature concentration allows majors to concentrate their courses in British, American, and world literatures.  The concentration is recommended for students intending to pursue graduate work in literature.  Students are encouraged to take as many classes as possible in the British literature sequence and the American literature sequence. Through these classes, students will have covered the major authors and periods in both British and American literature.  Additionally, students will take world literature for an appreciation of non-English literatures.  Beginning with English L202 Literary Interpretation, students will round off their experiences with literary criticism English L371.

Technical and Professional Writing: A concentrated study in the techniques of professional and technical writing including document design, digital writing, technical editing, and technical writing. Create brochures, websites, presentations, reports, blogs, and more. Fine tune your professional writing skills for the world of technical writing, editing, marketing, advertising, publishing, journalism, and many other areas which require excellent writing skills.


Faculty Spotlight

Jean Harper

Jean Harper photoJean Harper's book,

Through the lens of her relationship with a beloved horse, Jean Harper's memoir, Still Life with Horses, chronicles the quest to live ethically while navigating a changing personal and professional landscape. The book explores how animal relationships can keep us grounded when human relationships fail. A New Englander by birth, Harper examines the process of embracing and understanding America’s rural heartland as home. The Howling Bird Press editors were immediately drawn to Harper’s unique prose and the manuscript’s frank narrative of the path to empowerment.

Jean Harper was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and now calls the Midwest her home.

Her first book, Rose City: A Memoir of Work (Mid-List Press, 2005), won the Mid-List Press First Series award for Creative Nonfiction. Her writing has been supported by residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Among Harper’s awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Indiana Arts Commission. Her writing has appeared in the Iowa Review, North American Review, Florida Review, Yemassee Review and other publications. She teaches writing and literature at Indiana University East, in Richmond, Indiana.

Student Spotlight

Hannah Castor

Hannah Castor

Hannah Castor, the 2018 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in English, will earn her degree in English, with a concentration in Technical and Professional Writing, and is one of the newest graduates of IU East’s Honors Program.  She is a serial novelist who has recently published one of a seven novel series that she revised for her honors thesis. Her work near graduation involves another of her interests, copy editing.  Currently she is an editor for a local publishing house, while also developing its website and engaging in the marketing process of newly published work.  Serving as a Supplemental Instructor for English composition and consultant in IU East’s Writing Center, she embodied the epitome of the ideal student role model and peer mentor.  Hannah is currently working for the Office of Collaborative Academic Programs at IU. After graduation she plans to continue in her editing career while pondering graduate school and beyond.

Wes Smith

Wes Smith

Wes Smith, a poet, fiction writer, and student in the MA program in English at IU East is the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Student in English. Nonfiction Editor of Tributaries: A Journal of the Creative Arts, he has served as a Course Assistant and a Supplemental Instructor for a number of courses in English and History. A combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Wes assisted Dr. Brian Brodeur with the founding of the Veterans Writing Workshop of Richmond, Indiana in January of 2016. Wes earned a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from IU East in 2016. In 2017, Wes was a SUMRS scholar at IU East. This summer, Wes will serve as an Adjunct Professor for the English Department at IU East, teaching a course on Modern and Contemporary British and Irish Poetry. Wes is currently working on a collection of his own poetry titled High Open. This manuscript explores Wes’s fifteen years in the Army. Wes accepted an offer from the University of Massachusetts, Boston to study for his MFA in Poetry. He will be working with the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Lloyd Schwartz, who is one of the University of Massachusetts' professors.


Sara Baxter

Sara Baxter, Managing Editor of Tributaries and first-year MA student in English who earned her BA in English at Indiana University East, has been accepted into the prestigious Kenyon College Summer Writers Workshop: Poetry in Session Two (July 7-14). This is a “peer-reviewed” workshop; Sara’s admittance was based on the merit of a selection of her poetry she sent to the committee. 

Steph Beckner

Steph Beckner, Editor in Chief of Tributaries and MA student in English has agreed to enroll in West Virginia University’s MFA in Creative Writing program (creative nonfiction) this Fall.  She will have full funding and tuition remission. She’s also being considered for a publishing position with WVU, and she said that the last two grad students who have held that position have gone on to work in publishing houses. Anthony Swofford, who wrote Jarhead, teaches at WVU, along with his wife Christa Paravanni who wrote Her: A Memoir. Paravanni told Steph that her work "won their hearts.”


Alumni Spotlight

Here is some news from recent graduates:

  • Kaylyn Flora is attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington to study for an MFA in CW.
  • Katie Yohey is going to graduate school and working at Ball State University.
  • Lindsey Dirksen started her first year as a graduate student at Ball State where she’s pursuing a Master of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing (Poetry).
  • Whitney Reeves is enrolled in the MA in Philanthropic Studies at IUPUI. She is also teaching Visual Art at Test Middle School.
  • Emily O’Brien and Chase Eversole are continuing their studies at Miami University. Emily is completing an MA in English and Chase an MFA in poetry. Emily is also looking for PhD programs.
  • In addition, Tyler Groff, Secondary Education English major, is completing a PhD in literature (ABD) at Miami.
  • Lauren Murray works full time at IU East as secretary for Academic Support Programs and is currently enrolled in a graduate course in English at IU East.


Request Information

Thank you so much for your interest in IU East! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at applynow@iue.edu or (765) 973-8208.
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