Novelist Jackson Taylor to Direct Creative Writing Program

January 13, 2013

BROOKLYN, NY January 14, 2013 - The Writers Foundry M.F.A. in Creative Writing program at St. Josephs College (SJC) is pleased to announce that renowned author and poet Jackson Taylor will serve as a member of its acclaimed faculty as well as its new director. The Writers Foundry is centered on the teachings and methodology of one of SJCs own distinguished alumnae, Marie Ponsot, and is the first boutique graduate program in the history of the College. It will launch in the fall semester of 2013.

"Jackson Taylor is a legendary teacher and mentor of creative writing, said Richard Greenwald, Ph.D., academic dean of SJCs Brooklyn Campus School of Arts and Sciences. "We are truly honored to have him on our faculty and to lead this extraordinary program. This might be the first program in the country with a cohesive pedagogy, where faculty are not just conversant with it, but truly woven together by a commitment to it.

Jackson Taylor is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Blue Orchard which Publishers Weekly has called "an American classic. Inspired by a true story, the book has sold more than 50,000 copies since it was published by Simon and Schuster in 2010. Also a poet, his poems have appeared in a variety of literary magazines and journals. Mr. Taylor recently completed a new novel set in Italy and is currently working on a collection of poems.

"I am honored and truly excited to be joining The Writers Foundry and St. Josephs College, the latter so influential in the early education of my most inspiring mentor Marie Ponsot, Mr. Taylor said. "There is no question nor understatement here, when I say that through her friendship, Marie Ponsot saved my life and the work she and Rosemary Deen pioneered well, it continues to generate ever-increasing interest, not just for me and my students, but for any writer lucky enough to invest in it.  

For more than 20 years, Mr. Taylor has directed the Prison Writing Program at the American branch of the international writers organization P.E.N., where he co-edited and co-wrote the programs Handbook for Writers in Prison. He also advises the Anne Frank Centers Prison Diary Project, teaches creative writing at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in lower Manhattan and was one of the founders of the M.F.A. program at The New School. Mr. Taylor previously worked at The New York Times at the Culture, Week in Review, Arts and Leisure, National and Metro desks. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.