"Write On! At the University of Houston," The Magazine of the Houston Post, January 3, 1988.

The caption for the photograph in the article describes the creative writing faculty meetings, "the staff meets weekly at Bellatori's where decisions are democratic; there is no program director."


UH Creative Writing Program Leadership

During the creative writing program's early years Cynthia Macdonald and Stanley Plumly co-directed, each serving as director on alternate years until Plumly's departure in the mid-eighties.

For most of the remainder of the decade, UH's program had no director, and in theory, decisions were made through consensue at weekly faculty meetings. However, in reality, UH's creative writing program was run in large part by Barthelme and Macdonald, and later Edward Hirsch. With Barthelme's death in 1989, Macdonald and Hirsch were left to co-direct until mid-1991 when poet and fiction writer Robert Phillips became director of the program.

Photograph of Ntozake Shange, undated.

Poet and playwright Shange taught in the UH creative writing program from 1984 to 1986 and is best known for her Obie Award-winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf.

Photograph of Rosellen Brown, undated.

Brown joined UH's creative writing program faculty in 1982, and in 1984, Ms. magazine named her Ms. Woman of the Year for "confronting major modern issues through her fiction and for helping us unravel the subtleties of racism" in her novel Civil Wars.

Photograph of Phillip Lopate, undated.

Essayist Lopate taught in the UH creative writing program from 1981 to 1989 and was instrumental in forming Writers in the Schools in 1983.

Photograph of Edward Hirsch, undated.

Hirsch joined UH's creative writing program faculty in 1985, and in 1986, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry for his book Wild Gratitude.

"1 + One," UH Literary and Visual Artists Collaborate for Exhibit, UH Horizons, February 1988.

The exhibit One Plus One at the Glassell School of Art was co-curated by Donald Barthelme and Janet Landay and featured thirteen pairs of writers and artists, including Barthelme and Jim Love, Edward Hirsch and Derek Boshier, Cynthia Macdonald and James Surls, Ntozake Shange and Chuck Dugan, and Phillip Lopate and Sally Gall.

One + One: Collaborations by Artists and Writers, Janet Landay and Donald Barthelme, 1988.

This exhibit catalogue was printed by the Glassell School of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on the occasion of the exhibition One + One: Collaborations by Artists and Writers, which was shown January 22-February 25, 1988.

Promotional Poster for the UH Graduate Program in Creative Writing, 1989.

Outlines the course of study, resources, student publications and awards, admission, financial aid, and faculty for the 1989/1990 academic year and describes the program as the "spearhead for literary activities throughout the city."

"History of the Creative Writing Program, Department of English, University of Houston, 1979-1992," [approximately 1992].

Likely a draft with Cynthia Macdonald's handwritten notes, this page contains a list of faculty and their awards: "This remarkably accomplished group cumulatively has published 160 books (not including translations) and accounts for 3 National Book Awards, 3 Pulitzer Prizes, 1 National Book Critics' Circle award, 1 National Council of the Arts Selection, 1 Poet Laureateship of the U.S.A., 19 National Endowments of the Arts Fellowships, 10 Guggenheim Fellowships [ . . . ] and more."

Faculty Activity Reporting Form for Cynthia Macdonald, 1990.

Macdonald describes how Lopate's leaving and Berthelme's death in 1989 affected the running of the program: "I was the only permanent member of the Creative Writing faculty here in sprint '89 and undertook to manage and direct all the tasks of the program, including but by no means limited to admissions, recruiting Grad students, beginning search for Lopate replacement, arranging sudden replacement for D. Barthelme . . . This fall E. Hirsch and I continue to do for the program what four people (Barthelme, Lopate, EH, CM) used to do."

Newspaper Advertisement for the UH Creative Writing Program, [approximately 1990].

UH writing program advertisement featuring Edward Hirsch and Cynthia Macdonald, who co-directed the program following Donald Barthelme's death and Phillip Lopate's departure in 1989, until Robert McNamara took on the directorship in 1991. The advertisement lists their professions as "Poets, Authors, Professors, University of Houston."

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