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Rutgers University-Newark boasts one of the country's most respected English Departments, with an internationally respected faculty devoted to research and teaching in a wide range of subjects.

Students with interest in literature and writing can study English and American literature, exploring within specialized periods such as the Renaissance or the 19th Century or concentrate on genre courses in fiction, poetry, or drama, or single author courses such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Joyce.

Students choosing to study world literature in translation can take courses in African, Caribbean, and Asian literature in English. Our department offers courses that intersect with Women's and Gender Studies, LGBT Studies, Film Studies, and African-American and African History.  There are also opportunities to learn creative writing (prose and poetry), business writing, and writing for the Internet and computers.

Explore our web site or arrange a visit to learn more about what the English Department at RU-Newark has to offer. Email us at english@newark.rutgers.edu for more information.

Visit the MFA in Creative Writing Program Here.

Related Departments and Units:
American Studies
African American and African Studies
Women's and Gender Studies
NJ Step


A poem by Rachel Hadas

I made a list I can’t find now
(where did all my folders go?)
of words my students didn’t know.
Turmeric, poultice, fallacy,
cadence, meringue, Antigone,
last but not least Persephone
are just a few that stick with me,
plucked from the poems that we read
(I tried to stay a week ahead)
between September and December.
Many more I don’t remember.
But think of all the words they knew
or thought they knew. I thought so, too.
Thinking too hard, though, doesn’t do.
Words deeply pondered start to freeze—
as when before our tired eyes
Zoom stalls and stops (and no surprise),
leaving a dark screen, a blank hour
to fill with after and before.
Nonsense syllables devour
denotations. Happy, sad;
joyful or lonely; good or bad:
What does this mean to you? I said.
What does beautiful really mean?
I asked them as I tried to lean
into the noncommittal screen,
scanning until my eyes were sore
for the soul in each black square.
Were there really people there?
Did each name hide a secret face
sheltering somewhere in place,
some unimaginable space?
Each word they may have learned from me
in Gen. Ed. “Reading Poetry”
carries its meaning quietly,
concealed behind the livid glow
of all we learned we didn’t know.
Alone together, here we are,
stranded in our shared nowhere,
marooned in space, while, free from time,
meanings proliferate and chime
as words, unfettered, dance and rhyme.

From Love and Dread (2021), Rachel Hadas, Board of Governors Professor of English



Click Here to view recent awards won by our English Department Faculty!


Lampblack is a volunteer-based organization created by Black writers to support Black writers. Through direct aid, writing workshops and our reading series, we aim to expand the reach of Black literature on the page and in the world.  Learn more here.



Melanie R. Hill

Melanie R. Hill

Assistant Professor of American Literature

David Baker

David Baker

Associate Professor

Heyward Ehrlich

Heyward Ehrlich

Professor Emeritus

Amir Moosavi

Amir Moosavi

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature