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Goucher Today

Three generations of mentoring

Creative Writing Assistant Professor Edgar Kunz with students

Edgar Kunz ’10 is enjoying a career trajectory that points straight up. In the spring of 2018, he was an adjunct teaching one class at Goucher; he’s now a full-time assistant professor of creative writing as well as the assistant director of Goucher’s Kratz Center. In the fall of 2023, he took a sabbatical to promote his latest poetry collection, Fixer, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice book.

Such success is not foreign to Kunz. After graduating Goucher in 2010, he enrolled in Vanderbilt University’s M.F.A. program, one of the top creative writing programs in the country. He has been a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, and a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and had recent poems in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, APR, and Oxford American.

Kunz didn’t set out to be a poet. As a teen he wrote lyrics, dreaming of becoming “the next great American songwriter,” he says. After high school, he attended community college, then transferred to Goucher his sophomore year, “without realizing the creative writing program was so outsize strong—stronger than many big universities,” says Kunz.

In his first semester at Goucher, Kunz took a class with poet Elizabeth Spires, who retired last spring. “When I came to Goucher I had no idea she was a major poet. At that point in my life, I was barely aware there even were contemporary poets,” he says. “I just loved reading poems and trying to make things out of language.”

In addition to Spires’ classes, he took an independent study with her, and she supervised his senior thesis. “Spires’ mentoring was so personalized,” he recalls. “I felt so lucky to be receiving that level of feedback outside the classroom,” Kunz says.

As a professor, Kunz, in turn, provides the same support. “I work intensely with my students,” he says. “We workshop poems, read a lot of books, and discuss elements of the craft.”

Through creative writing workshops, independent study, senior thesis supervision, two reading series, a summer fellowship, an off-campus mentorship program, there’s a lot of programming. Kunz is also faculty advisor of the literary magazine The Preface.

Over the last few years Kunz’s students have gone on to study in the top M.F.A. programs in the country, including Vanderbilt University; University of Texas, Austin; Indiana University; Hollins University; University of Montana; and University of Maryland.

Spires’ legacy continues.




(Photo at top): Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Edgar Kunz ’10 with students

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