English department welcomes new creative writing professor

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b After almost a yearlong search, the university hired Bryan Hurt as the newest member of the English department. He will specialize in creative writing and begin teaching next semester.

When asked what led him to become a creative writing professor, Hurt said that fiction writing workshops in his freshman year of college made up his mind.

Hurt was born in Columbus but grew up in Medina, Ohio. He returned  to Columbus for undergraduate work at The Ohio State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and German.

He then moved to California, where he attended the University of Southern California and received his Ph.D. in 2013. His creative dissertation for his degree also became his first novel, “Everyone Wants to Be Ambassador to France.”

“It was a pretty long road from B.A. to Ph.D., but I knew from the very first time I attended a creative writing workshop I wanted to do what my teacher was doing,” Hurt said. “I feel lucky and incredibly grateful that this is exactly what I get to do.”

After school, Hurt began teaching creative writing at University of California, Riverside. Since then, he has held similar positions at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Hurt applied for a position at Capital University and considers himself lucky that they pursued his application.

“When I saw the job advertised, I was immediately drawn to it” Hurt said. “I knew of Capital’s excellent reputation and had been wanting to return to Ohio… The job market is incredibly difficult with so many great people… I’m really lucky!”

Aside from having a cold during the Skype interview in the early stages of application, Hurt spoke well of the whole interview process.

After completing a series of interviews, Hurt visited Capital on February 5. Among other things, he presented selections from “Everyone Wants to Be Ambassador to France” and taught sample classes of students.

Hurt said that “everyone was nice, warm, and full of good camaraderie” and that the students he taught were “sharp and attentive.”

Upon returning to Columbus, he said, “I hadn’t really been back to Columbus in about a decade and was impressed by how much the city has grown and changed.”

He related that he is also happy to return to Columbus with his wife and three-year-old son.

In regards to his future at Capital, Hurt said he is eager to meet students with different backgrounds and to begin teaching his upcoming schedule.

He will be teaching a variety of courses, including an introduction to creative writing and classes on artistic criticism and environmental ethics.

Hurt said he would like to take steps toward developing a class on audio narrative and spoken-word storytelling.
“I want to help students in the English department and all departments thrive and … give them tools to do whatever it is that they love doing,” Hurt said.

Nathan Hutchins

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