English 12: The Ethel Walker School Visiting Writer Seminar

Upper School

Grade 12


Credits: .5

What does it mean to be a writer? How does an author find her style? The Visiting Writer Seminar is a semester-long course in which students have the special opportunity to immerse themselves in a study of one writer’s works. Throughout the semester, students read a critical mass of texts by that writer before the course culminates with the author’s visit to Walker’s. During this visit, the writer will teach master classes, conduct writing workshops, and participate in class discussion. The writer will also deliver a schoolwide assembly and a public reading to our community.

The magic of this course is created in the collaborative and symbiotic exchange between the writer and the student. Learning and inspiration move from the writer to the student but also, we hope, from the student back to the writer.

During the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, the class will study the works of Camille T. Dungy, award-winning poet and essayist. In the spring semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, the class will welcome American poet, editor, professor, translator, and human rights advocate, Carolyn Forché, to campus. Learn more about both authors at

Works by both of these extraordinary authors will also be taught in many other English classes, so that students will be amply prepared to ask questions and to learn as much as possible from these writers’ visits to our campus.