Welcome to English

We are devoted to literature as a living tradition and a dynamic contemporary enterprise, and to writing as a way of knowing, a means of connecting, and one of the most powerful inventions in human history. As an English major, you will gain insight into the complexities of human experience, appreciation of our cultural heritages, openness to different ways of thinking and feeling, and understanding of how language shapes reality. You’ll also hone your abilities to think critically and to communicate your views and visions.

Every year, our New Writing Series, Maine Writing Series, and Visiting Scholar Series host poets, fiction writers, and scholars who visit classes, meet informally with students, and give readings. Our Center for Poetry and Poetics is internationally known for its publications and conferences on modern and postmodern poetry. All of this offers our students a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary scene, which carries over into their own creative and critical work.

Our classes are small and writing-intensive; you will get to know your peers and your professors through lively discussion of literature from Chaucer to avant-garde fiction. You’ll also develop expertise in analytical writing, creative writing, or professional writing. Many English faculty and students participate in the Honors College, and top students train to work as tutors in our nationally recognized Writing Center.

The M.A. program emphasizes intensive work in small seminars. The curriculum combines traditional period courses with constantly changing topics courses related to faculty research interests. 

The Stephen E. King Chair in Literature was endowed by the Alfond Foundation in honor of the UMaine alumnus’ substantial body of work and creative impact. Its goal is to advance excellence in the creation, study and appreciation of literature and the humanities.