Bonnie Culver, co-founder and director of Wilkes University’s graduate creative writing program, has been named president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ national board of trustees.
The association, also known as AWP, fosters literary achievement, advances the art of writing, and serves writers, teachers and students of contemporary writing. Founded in 1967, the organization supports nearly 50,000 writers and over 500 college and university creative writing programs as well as 100 writers’ conferences and centers. At the heart of the association’s success is the organization’s respect for the individual efforts, creativity and aspirations of emerging writing talent.
“Bonnie is an accomplished writer, teacher and administrator who has worked as an excellent advocate for our member programs,” says David Fenza, executive director of AWP. In 2011, she was elected AWP’s vice president and individual members’ representative. Culver has previously served on several committees of the Fairfax, Va.-based organization, including the finance, strategic planning and executive committees.
As a member program and sponsor of the annual conference since 2005, Wilkes has been actively engaged in the association. “I am absolutely sure that it was the reputation and strength of the Wilkes creative writing program that made me a visible member of AWP,” Culver says. “I expect this opportunity will make the program even more visible and bring our program into that national conversation about writing.”
Culver, who resides in Wilkes-Barre, joined Wilkes in 1990 and served as associate professor of English for seven years before being named dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies. In 2005, Culver co-founded the low-residency M.A./M.F.A. creative writing graduate program with J. Michael Lennon, Wilkes vice president emeritus for academic affairs and professor emeritus of English.
Culver has written over 20 plays, many of which have been produced by community, regional and university theatres and equity companies from New York City to Los Angeles. She has received individual and institutional grants and awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the Maslow Foundation, among others. Culver is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the president of the James Jones Society, and an advisory board member of both the Norman Mailer Society and Etruscan Press.