The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

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The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing

Serving writers, readers, and the literary community.

About the Center

Established in 2003 with a gift from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is a non-academic university center promoting literature and creative writing in the larger community. We offer readings, talks, classes, workshops, and other literary programs and resources for creative writers, readers, and the public good. While other university centers focus on serving students or faculty, the Piper Center is focused on serving the larger community.

Our Mission

The Center aspires to:

  • build connections among readers, writers, and others, across multiple disciplines and fields of interest
  • offer a variety of educational opportunities to support writers in every stage of their development
  • foster a thriving creative and literary community, and transform the Valley’s cultural environment
  • become the driving force for a dynamic and entrepreneurial creative environment that will enrich Arizona and the entire Southwest
  • encourage cultural and artistic exchanges with international communities
  • promote the value that art is integral to all our lives, and make it accessible both within and beyond our community of writers

Our Programs

To achive this, we offer a wide variety of literary events and programs, including:

The Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University

While the Piper Center works closely with the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University by offering various educational opportunities and other forms of support to faculty and students, the Piper Center is a separate unit from the Creative Writing Program.

Individuals with questions about for-credit classes, degree programs, or other questions related to academic enrollment can visit the Creative Writing website or contact Creative Writing Program Assistant Director Jennifer Irish.

To learn more about the Piper Center's relationship with the ASU Creative Writing Program, click here.

Photograph of Historic Presidents Cottage on Arizona State University

A historic photograph of the Piper Writers House (formerly the President's Cottage) on Arizona State University, Tempe Campus. Photo courtesy of ASU Archives.

The Piper Writers House

Originally constructed in 1907, the Piper Writers House served as a home for the president of Arizona State Universty--Arthur John Matthes (1904-30) and Grady Gammage (1933-59)--until it became the Alumni House and Alumni Executive Office (1961-72) and, most recently, the University Archives (1972-95).

In 2005, the building underwent extensive renovations, including the addition of a back patio and several surrounding gardens, to house the newly established Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Today, the house serves as an office for staff, a classroom for creative writing students and community members, and a gathering space for readings, receptions, and other events.

Along with University Club and Old Main, the Piper Writers House is one of the last remaining historic buildings on the Tempe campus. The house is also one of the last buildings designed by territorial architect James Creighton, who designed the original Arizona State University Normal School. 

For more information about the Piper Writers House, view the house's record on the National Register of Historic Places.


The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is located in the historic quarter of Arizona State University at 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281.

For more information, you can view an interactive map of Arizona State University or download a campus map.

By Car

ASU is located just a few minutes off the Loop 202 via exit 6 or 7 (Priest Drive / Center Parkway and Scottsdale Rd / Rural Rd, respectively).

Park in the Fulton Center Parking Structure off University Blvd (just east of College Ave on the North Side of University). The Fulton Center is the closest lot to the Center and less than 5 minutes away. Please note that, while parking in the Fulton Garage is generally available, it can become more difficult during football games or other local events.

Parking is $3 an hour or $15 all day Monday through Friday and free on the weekends.

If the Fulton Lot is full, we recommend Visitor Lot 67 off S Forest Ave near the University Towers garage or Visitor Lot 20 on S Mill Ave and W 9th St. Outside of these lots, parking at ASU can be difficult and time-consuming.

Please be aware that ASU and the City of Tempe are also extremely vigilant about parking enforcement, ticketing, and towing.

By Light Rail and Public Transporation

Valley Metro light rail service is available throughout Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa (with additional service to and from Sky Harbor International Airport at 44th St and Washington).

Our light rail stop is College Ave and Veterans Way. To get to the Piper Center from this stop, simply walk south down College Avenue until you come to the traffic light at University Blvd. Arizona State University will be directly in front of you. Cross University Blvd and head slightly left / southeast, where you’ll see a large fountain in the middle of a plaza. University Club will be located on your left to the east. Old Main will be located in front of you to the south. The Piper Writers House is located between these two buildings to the southeast just a few hundred feet away.

Local public transportation options include Orbit shuttle services, GRID bicycle rentals, or the bus.

For more information about public transportation, download a Valley Metro system map, view the light rail schedule, or visit the Valley Metro website.

You can also visit the Transportation page at Arizona State University.

 Map of the Piper Center at ASU

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is committed to ensuring that all individuals have fair and equal access to Piper Center events and programs.

All venues are accessible to individuals with mobility challenges, hearing loss, or other forms of disability.

ASL interpreting services, printed versions of presentations, large print handouts, translations, and alternative forms of materials for classes, workshops, or other programs are available with two to three weeks advance notice (upon request).

To request materials or contact the Center with any other questions or concerns, call the Center directly at 480.965.6018 or send us an email at