Chatham University

Creative Writing (MFA) Faculty and Staff

Sheryl St. Germain

Sheryl St. Germain
Program Director and Professor
Hometown : New Orleans, LA
Joined Chatham : 2005

Academic Areas of Interest

Poetry; Creative Nonfiction and Essay Writing; Nature, Environmental and Travel Writing; Social Jusitice and Teaching in Alternative Spaces; Writing and Healing

Personal Areas of Interest

Jazz, gardening, yoga, gaming

Personal Website : Visit Website


A native of New Orleans, Sheryl St. Germain has taught creative writing at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Knox College and Iowa State University. She directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University where she also teaches poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has received several awards, including two NEA Fellowships, an NEH Fellowship, the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, the Ki Davis Award from the Aspen Writers Foundation, and most recently the William Faulkner Award for the personal essay. Her books include Going Home, The Mask of Medusa, Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade, and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems, published by Autumn House Press. She has also published a book of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien.A book of lyric essays, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman, was published in 2003 by The University of Utah Press. Her most recent book is Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair, published by Louisiana Literature in 2012. A forthcoming edited collection, with Sarah Shotland, Words Without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence and Incarceration, will appear in 2015 from Trinity University Press.


  • MA, University of Texas at Dallas, 1982
  • BA, Southeastern Louisiana University, 1979



  • Artist Residency, A Studio in the Woods, 2005
  • Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow, 2002
  • William Faulkner Creative Writing Award for the Personal Essay, 1999.
  • NEH Fellow for Institute on the Environmental Imagination, 1997
  • Dobie Paisano Fellowship, 1990
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1991, 1996


  • AWP board
  • Associated Writing Programs, Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment


  • Founding Director, Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, Iowa State University


  • Selected Readings, 2008: Texas A&M University, Blinn College, Cornell College, Iowa State University, Grandview College, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Loyola University, University of New Orelans, McNeese University, East Jefferson Public Library, New Orleans, University of Mississippi, Cornelia Cafe NYC