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A home for writers, readers, and the larger community
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.
Where other centers may focus on research or only be open to students and faculty, we're dedicated to offering talks, readings, classes, workshops, and other literary events and programs for the general public. Exceptions aside, you do not need to be an ASU student or faculty member to take classes or attend events. Everything we do is for the larger community.
To learn more about who we are and what we do, keep reading the information below.
Following a philanthropic legacy of supporting arts and culture throughout the Valley, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust founded the Center with a historic gift to Arizona State University in 2003.
Envisioned as a catalyst for dynamic and visionary leadership in creative writing and contemporary literature, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing was tasked with organizing a conference, presenting visiting writers, and developing other outreach programs and initiatives that would enrich the intellectual and artistic life of Arizona State University, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and the state of Arizona as a whole.
The Piper Center's founding Artistic Director Jewell Parker Rhodes laid the groundwork for the Piper Center's signature programming and paved the way to where we are today. Other leadership over the years has included T.R. Hummer, Peter Turchi, and Matt Bell. Following Dr. Rhodes' departure, ASU University Professor and Arizona Inaugural Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos was appointed as the new Director in 2017.
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. All of our classes and workshops are open to the public and are not for credit.
If you have questions about for-credit classes, degree programs, or other matters of academic enrollment, you can visit the Creative Writing website or contact Creative Writing Program Manager Justin Petropoulos at email@example.com
To learn more about our student programs and services, you can visit our student services and programs page.
By proudly carrying the name of Virginia G. Piper, we serve to create a mantra, a daily reminder of Virginia's life, values, and impact of giving. Every day, we strive to live up to her vision with humility, honor, sound judgment, and heart, finding opportunities in our own lives for doing the most good.
As a center, we aspire to be a point of reference in people's lives—a way to orient oneself in relation to others, of finding a direction—by creating moments of individual, social, and cultural significance around creative writing and contemporary literature.
Everything we do is for the community. The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University is dedicated to serving the public with a wide variety of literary events and programs within and beyond the metropolitan Phoenix area.
Additionally, the Piper Center has a rich history of parterning with the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University to offer scholarships, fellowships, and other educational opportunities for students and faculty, with specific support to the program's literary journal, Hayden's Ferry Review.
The Center also leads numerous outreach programs and initiatives beyond ASU to serve the needs of greater Phoenix's diverse communities.
To learn more about what we do and find an event or program near you, view our calendar.