Good reading and writing skills are valuable to everyone, whether you plan a business career or are studying nursing. The English Department teaches students to think critically, understand the materials they read and express their ideas in writing.
Who We Are
English Department faculty are accomplished writers, poets and literary critics. Many have published books. Others have been nominated to Best New American Writers, served on the National Endowment for the Humanities board and read their poems on A Writer’s Almanac.
Meet Catherine Bean
Master of Arts (MA) in English - Film and Contemporary American Literature Studies, University of Florida; Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English - Film and Contemporary American Literature Studies, University of Florida
Degrees & Certificates We Offer
Courses offered range from freshman composition classes to historical literature and creative writing classes.
The department offers three degrees:
Both AA degrees articulate to Moorhead State and Hamline University.
Our Associate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing gives students a variety of choices in literature and creative writing courses, a practicum in publishing, and a capstone manuscript independent study. The AFA in Creative Writing articulates to Metropolitan State University, Hamline University and Augsburg College.
The English Department presents students with a variety of engaging literary opportunities. (See Visiting Writers Series below.)
Both campuses also host student and faculty readings and have active creative writing clubs that publish the student literary magazines.
Each semester these series bring acclaimed and award-winning local, regional, and nationally-known authors to campus. Students study these authors’ stories, novels, essays, plays, or poetry in their English or Reading courses. Students then attend the readings in person to meet the author, ask questions, and have their books signed. Readings are video recorded to enable online students access to these events.
The English Division is pleased to offer these events free to Anoka-Ramsey students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public.
More About The Department
Students can explore their literary interests and develop their writing talents outside the classroom, too. The English Department presents students with a variety of engaging literary opportunities. On our Cambridge Campus, students can hear meet well-known writers through the citywide Minnesota Authors Reading Series. On the Coon Rapids Campus, the Two Rivers Reading Series allows students to study a book then interact with the published author. Both campuses host student and faculty readings and have active creative writing clubs that publish the student literary magazines.
Faculty Achievements and News
Kelly Meyer completed the ARCC Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Scholars program and presented results from her research study on shifting perspectives toward diversity in English 2210: Global Literature at two national conferences in the spring of 2019: the Lilly Conference in Anaheim and the Two-Year College English Association Conference in Pittsburgh. She also previously published her dissertation chapter titled "Lady Winterbourne in the Harem: Rewriting the Fantasy in Ahdaf Soueif's The Map of Love" in the book "Postcolonial Literature Today," edited by Jagdish Batra and Alan Johnson (Prestige Books, 2015).
In the summer of 2019, Kathryn Kysar won first place in the Qu Yuan Poetry Contest to honor the new pavilion at the Saint Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden at Phalen-Keller Regional Park. The award-winning poem was presented at a dignitary dinner and at the grand opening. Kysar performed in the Minneapolis Fringe Fest in a spoken word and music show at Augsburg University and with the Sonoglyph Collective at Minneapolis’ Greenway Glow and Saint Paul’s Irish Festival. Her poem "April" was selected for the Mankato Poetry Walk and will be on display in Bluff Park in Mankato, Minnesota.
Garrison Keillor selected and read English Faculty Paige Riehl's poem "Things That Cannot Die" for "The Writer's Almanac" for August 13, 2019. WriteOn! Radio also interviewed Riehl about her new poetry book titled Suspension. The interview is available on Riehl’s website.
Paige Riehl served as the guest judge for the Patsy Lea Core Living Memorial Award in Creative Writing at Normandale Community College. Along with author Carter Meland, Riehl will present awards and read from her poetry book titled Suspension at 7 p.m. on April 23 (2019) in the Kopp Student Center room 0432. Riehl also was a guest author in the Meet the Author Reading Series at North Hennepin Community College April 9 (2019) where she read from and answered questions about Suspension. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference in Portland, OR in March 2019, Paige Riehl organized and presented on two panels. The first, titled Throwing Money into the Wind?: Submitting and Publishing a First Book of Poetry, explored recent first-book publication experiences and offered strategies for submission, mistakes to avoid, and what to expect after acceptance regarding contracts, editing, cover selection, and publicity. The second panel presentation, Tapping the Untapped: Building a Vibrant Reading Series for Authors & Audiences, focused on how community colleges build bridges between writers and their audiences and introduce under-served communities to diverse literature.
At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in Tampa, Florida, in March 2018, Kathryn Kysar presented on a panel entitled "Opening the Door: Articulation Agreements as a Tool for Creating Diversity and Access. On October 6, 2017, the Two Year College Association (TYCA) Midwest conference put on by the National Council of Teachers of English that was held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Kate Kysar participated on a panel entitled Curious about Creative Writing: Program Models for Two-Year Colleges” that explored how to support students and build creative writing programs in the current two year college climate. She has many upcoming solo poetry readings and performances with her band, the Sonoglyph Collective, and has several travel articles in process for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Two Rivers Reading Series
Emily Fridlund, author of History of Wolves
Nov. 20, 2019
12 to 12:50 pm & 2 to 2:50 pm
Performing Arts Center, Coon Rapids Campus
Meet Our Students and Alumni
Meet Joshua ChaseJoshua ChaseArts & CommunicationCreative Writing
"The teachers are, hands down, the best part of Anoka-Ramsey. I’ve always read a lot, but while at Anoka-Ramsey, I had teachers who gave me entirely new perspectives on the writers and works I was already interested in. I always knew I liked certain authors, but couldn’t really put my finger on why. After my time at Anoka-Ramsey, I had a much better understanding.
I spent a lot of time in the advising office. Having transferred many of my credits from a community college in Nevada, I wasn’t really sure how to proceed in a new state with different graduation requirements."
Meet Jamie HaddoxJamie HaddoxArts & CommunicationAA Creative Writing Emphasis
"Having taken creative writing classes at Anoka- Ramsey, I can honestly say that talent alone isn’t enough, no matter how talented. There’s so much I didn’t know. I’ve also learned that part of writing is having a network. You’ll never meet half the people you should without going to school."
Meet Javier AbricaJavier AbricaMnTCAssociate in Arts
"When I walked through the doors here, I knew this was the place to get started. I’ve enjoyed it here ever since. Being Hispanic I appreciate the diversity at Anoka-Ramsey. I have met people from all over the world. It’s fun to have them share their cultures with me, and to see they have the same interests as I do."