English Department

Student with book

English Department

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.

Course Descriptions
Department Directory
Admissions | 763-433-1300
Dean Greg Rathert | 763-433-1864

Meet Catherine Bean

Catherine Bean
Meet Catherine Bean
Instructor of English
Meet Catherine Bean
Instructor of English

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

Meet Connor Schroeder

Connor Schroeder
Meet Connor Schroeder
Creative Writing program
Meet Connor Schroeder
Creative Writing program

Otsego, MN

Degrees & Certificates We Offer

Courses offered range from freshman composition classes to historical literature and creative writing classes.

The department offers three degrees:

  • Associate of Arts (AA) degree with an emphasis in Creative Writing

    Associate of Arts (AA) degree with an emphasis in English Literature

    Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree in Creative Writing

    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.

  • The English Department presents two exciting series: The Two Rivers Reading Series at the Coon Rapids Campus, and the Minnesota Writers Series at the Cambridge Campus.

    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

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.

Tracy Youngblom has had several recent publications. Her story, "Familiar Wounded Birds," will be published in Westview: A Journal of Western Oklahoma. Her essay "God Said," will be published in St. Katherine Review. Her poem, "September Sight," will be published in Big Muddy. Her newest book of poems, One Bird a Day, has been published and is available at Amazon.

Melody Heide published a short essay called "First Gear" in the anthology Love and Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life. She also read from her piece at the book launch party at Addendum Books in March 2015. Melody Heide read from her nonfiction work-in-progress, Christ-Haunted, at the Twin Cities Creative Writing Revue at North Central University in November 2015.

Meet Our Students and Alumni