Thornton Writing Program

The LC Writing Program

The Thornton program is part of the larger writing program at Lynchburg College. Other courses in creative writing include Introduction to Creative Writing, Fiction Writing, and Poetry Writing, all of which are taught by regular faculty of LC who are both teachers and writers. Among the faculty are published fiction writers, poets, playwrights, journalists, and essayists. For further information, contact Allison Wilkins at

Spring 2014 Thornton Writer-in-Residence

Patrick Ryan Frank

Patrick Ryan Frank
Wednesday, Mar. 19, 8 p.m.

Reading in Sydnor Performance Hall.  Reception and booksigning to follow.

Patrick Ryan Frank is the author of How the Losers Love What’s Lost, which won the 2010 Intro Prize from Four Way Books; and The Opposite of People, to be published by Four Way Books in 2015.

He is the recipient of fellowships from the James A. Michener Center for Writers, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Vermont Studio Center, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was recently a Fulbright Fellow to Iceland.



Spring 2014 Thornton Reading

Maud Casey

Maud Casey
Thursday, Apr. 3, 6 p.m.

Reading in Daura Gallery, Dillard Fine Arts Center. Reception and booksigning to follow.

Maud Casey is the author of the novels The Shape of Things to Come, a New York Times Notable Book; Genealogy; The Man Who Walked Away; and a collection of stories, Drastic.

She is the recipient of the Calvino Prize and has received residency fellowships from the Fundacin Valparaiso, the Hawthorden International Retreat for Writers, Chteau de Lavigny, Villa Hellebosch, and the Dora Maar House. She lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches at the University of Maryland and in the low-residency MFA program at Warren Wilson.



Fall 2013 Thornton Readings

CM Burroughs

CM Burroughs
Thursday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.

Reading in Hopwood Auditorium.  Reception and booksigning to follow.

CM Burroughs was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and now lives in Chicago, Illinois. She serves as Assistant Professor of Poetry and Literature at Columbia College Chicago. She is an associate poetry editor of Court Green and Tupelo Quarterly literary journals. Her debut collection of poetry, The Vital System, is available from Tupelo Press and may be purchased via the site's Books page.

Burroughs has been awarded fellowships and grants from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Cave Canem Foundation, Callaloo Writers Workshop and the University of Pittsburgh. She has received commissions from the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum to create poetry in response to art installations. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the 2009 Gift of Freedom Award, her poetry has appeared in journals including Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, VOLT, Bat City Review, and Sou’wester. Her poem “Artist’s Delight” was published as a broadside in 2008 for Pennsylvania’s Public Poetry Project, and appeared in the literary journal Tuesday; An Art Project. Burroughs is a graduate of Sweet Briar College and the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh.



Olga Broumas

Olga Broumas
Thursday, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.

Reading in Sydnor Performance Hall. Reception and booksigning to follow.

Olga Broumas has published seven collections of poetry, the first Restlessness in Greece, then a chapbook Caritas, next Beginning with O, with Yale University Press, followed by four other collections with Copper Canyon Press: (Soi Sauvage, Pastoral Jazz, Perpetua, Rave). Broumas has also published two collections in collaboration with Jane Miller and T. Begley respectively.  In the year 2000, Copper Canyon released a CD of readings from her poetry collection Rave and her Elytis translation Eros, Eros, entitled: Olga Broumas, A Listener’s Companion.

Broumas has translated three collections of the Greek poet Odysseas Elytis, and one chapbook by the Greek poet Kiki Dimoula.

In 1977 she was chosen by Stanley Kunitz to win the Yale Younger Poets award. She has also been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Vermont Arts Council Grant, Karolyi Foundation Fellowship and Centrum Foundation Residency.

Broumas is from the island of Syros in Greece. She earned her BA in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. Since 1995 she has been a poet-in-residence and director of Creative Writing Brandeis University in Boston. She runs the Freehand Center for Women Artists on Cape Cod since the1980s. She also practices healing, massage therapy and other body work.



Thornton - Phillip Burnham

Philip Burnham
Monday, Nov. 4, 6 p.m.

Reading in Hopwood Auditorium.  Reception and booksigning to follow. 

Philip Burnham is a free-lance journalist/historian based on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Burnham has published in American Heritage, The Washington Post, MHQ, Transition, Emerge, The Columbia Journalism Review, and Indian Country Today.

Burnham is the author of How the Other Half Lived: A People's Guide to American Historic Sites (1995), an investigation of the public history of American minority groups; Indian Country, God's Country: Native Americans and the National Parks (2000), an exposé of how America's public lands were wrested from North American tribes; and So Far From Dixie: Confederates in Yankee Prisons (2003), a narrative account of Civil War confinement. His work focuses on American culture, Native American history, and the role of minorities in American life today.

Burnham is researching a biography of Dewey Beard (Iron Hail), a Lakota warrior who was the last survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Burnham has taught college-level writing, literature, and history at the University of New Mexico, the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Sinte Gleska College, Johns Hopkins University, and, as a Fulbright fellow, at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. He has done archival research in public and private collections throughout the U.S. and in several countries abroad. He is currently a Term Assistant Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Burnham holds a BA in English Composition from Beloit College, an MFA in Writing from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and a PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico.



Thornton Writer-in-Residence Workshop

The Thornton Writer-in-Residence comes to the College to teach a semester-long class. To ensure individualized instruction, the class size is limited to 16 students. Eligibility is determined through submission of sample writings. Any student, regardless of major, may apply.

Students often take more than one Thornton writing course during their 4 years, and academic credit earned can count toward an English major or toward elective hours, depending on the student's needs.

The visiting writer also gives public readings, conducts other classes at the request of professors, and is available for private conferences with student and faculty writers. For more information call 434.544.8820.

Public Readings and Short Workshops

Thornton writers commonly visit campus for one or two days. The centerpiece of such visits is a public reading or lecture. Writers also frequently meet with classes or conduct workshops for students interested in creative writing.

All readings are sponsored by The Richard H. Thornton Endowment in English and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Anne Panning, Fall 2012 Guest Reader

Anne Panning video

Watch an excerpt of Anne Panning's reading on October 25.


The Richard H. Thornton Endowment

Dr. Richard H. Thornton, 1907 alumnus of Lynchburg College, was a distinguished teacher, writer, and publisher. He became president of Henry Holt and Company publishers and established friendships with such writers as Carl Sandburg, Thomas Wolfe, and Vachel Lindsay. He was both editor and friend to Robert Frost.

Since 1975 the endowment established in his name has made it possible for us to bring some of the most exciting and successful poets, novelists, dramatists, and nonfiction writers of our time to the College. These writers have taught classes, given readings, and enriched the cultural life of the campus.