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Mark Brazaitis


Mark Brazaitis directs the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing in the Department of English at West Virginia University. He is the author of An American Affair, winner of the 2004 George Garrett Prize for fiction, as well as The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and a novel, Steal My Heart. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and his stories, poems and essays have appeared in The Sun, Beloit Fiction Journal, Notre Dame Review, Atlanta Review, Shenandoah and other literary journals. Brazaitis has also published journalism in The Washington Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Detroit Free Press and American Medical News.


  • Creative writing, especially fiction

Selected Publications:

  • An American Affair (short story collection)
  • The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala (short story collection)
  • Steal My Heart (a novel)
  • “Before the Wedding” in Shenandoah
  • “A Kind of Flight” in U.S. Catholic
  • “Bath Water” in Alaska Quarterly Review
  • “Snow” in Beloit Fiction Journal.
  • “Two Countries” in Notre Dame Review
  • “El Panadero” in Atlanta Review
  • “Soccer Until Dusk” in The Sun
  • “Giving” and “A Night on the Beach” in The Sun
  • “Magic Pablo” in The Great Adventure: Volunteer Stories of Life Overseas.

Talks Offered

Mark Brazaitis currently offers the following talk as part of the English Department Speakers program:

The Great Adventure
“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,” John F. Kennedy said in his 1961 Inaugural Address and out of this sentiment, the Peace Corps was born. Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the Peace Corps has produced hundreds of creative writers, including Bob Shacochis, Norman Rush, Eileen Drew and Mike Tidwell. The speaker will discuss the impact serving in the Peace Corps had on his own writing and talk about what the Peace Corps is doing today.

The English Department Speakers program (EDS) provides talks for a variety of audiences-high schools, civic groups, community organizations, etc.-free of charge. To obtain more information about the EDS program or to schedule a speaker, call Professor Lisa Weihman at (304) 293-9735 or e-mail her at

Recent Courses

English 314 (001)
Creative Writing Workshop: Non-Fiction 
Time: MWF 2:30-3:20

“What a Great Story!” So why not write it? This course will allow you to use real-life stories-yours or someone else’s-to create memorable, engaging works of creative nonfiction.

Although it will focus primarily on personal memoir, English 314 will also cover a variety of creative nonfiction topics, including profiles, travel writing and reviews.

In addition to offering you the chance to present your work in a supportive, helpful workshop environment, it will give you the chance to read and discuss published works of creative nonfiction.

Some of the authors we might read: Maya Angelou, Mary Karr, Richard Wright, James Ellroy, Esmeralda Santiago and John Thorndike.

English 318 (001)
Topics in Creative Writing “Genre Blends” 
Time: MWF 12:30-1:20

“Is it a Poem? A Short Story? A Memoir?” Maybe it’s all three-or more. This course will examine published works that blend two or more genres (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama). It will also allow students to write in all four genres as well as experiment with genre blends. Students will present their work in a constructive, supportive workshop environment.

Works the course may examine: Kim Addonizio’s Jimmy & Rita, a novel in the guise of a poetry collection; John Steinbeck’s Burning Bright, a play in the form of a novel; Julia Kasdorf’s The Body and the Book, a memoir with poems; Jean Toomer’s Cane, a blend of poetry, fiction and drama; and Tim O’Brien’s If I Die in a Combat Zone, a straight memoir, and The Things They Carried, a memoir-novel-short story blend.