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Photo of Gary W. Fincke, Ph.D.

Gary W. Fincke, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Director, Writers Institute

Phone: 570-372-4164
Email: gfincke@susqu.edu
Office Location: The Writers Institute - 610 University Ave

Academic Credentials:
PHD, Kent State University
MA, Miami University
BA, Thiel College

Fincke is the Charles B. Degenstein Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of The Writers Institute.

Specializing in creative writing, he teaches introductory and advanced workshops in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as overseeing independent writing projects, practica and internships for writing majors.

His latest book, The History of Permanence (2011), won the 2010 Stephen F. Austin University Press Poetry Prize. Winner of the 2003 Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction for his collection, Sorry I Worried You, Fincke has published twenty-three books of poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, most recently The Canals of Mars (memoir, Michigan State, 2010), The Fire Landscape (poems, Arkansas, 2008), Standing Around the Heart (poems, Arkansas, 2005), Sorry I Worried You (stories, Georgia, 2004) and Amp'd: A Father's Backstage Pass, a nonfiction account of his son's life as a rock guitarist in the band Breaking Benjamin (Michigan State, 2004).

Winner of the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Rose Lefcowitz Prize from Poet Lore, Fincke has received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize as well as seven fellowships for creative writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in such periodicals as Harper's, Newsday, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, American Scholar and Doubletake. Twice awarded Pushcart Prizes for his work and cited ten times in the past twelve years for a "Notable Essay" in Best American Essays, Fincke has just had his prize-winning essay "The Canals of Mars" reprinted in The Pushcart Essays, an anthology of the best nonfiction printed during the first twenty-five years of the Pushcart Prize volumes. His story, “The Blazer Sestina,” won the George Garrett Fiction Prize, another recent story, “There’s Worse,” was cited in the 2007 O Henry Awards Volume, and his essay “Cemeteries” was awarded the Lewis Prize for Nonfiction from the magazine Weber Studies.

Fincke also writes a bi-weekly newspaper column, which is often distributed by Scripps-Howard. Recent columns have been reprinted in the Atlanta Constitution, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, The Sacramento Bee and dozens of other newspapers throughout the United States and Canada.

Coach of the men's tennis team from 1981 to 2001, Fincke had more than 145 career wins and five league championships during his tenure. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in Selinsgrove. Two of his children, Derek (copy director, Klunk & Millan Advertising) and Shannon (artist and teacher), graduated from Susquehanna in English and art; the third, Aaron, attended Duquesne University, and after touring with the rock band Lifer (Universal/Republic Records), plays guitar with the band Breaking Benjamin (Hollywood Records).


  • ENGL-265 Forms of Literary Journalism
  • ENGL-540 Internship
  • WRIT-250 Intro to Creative Nonfiction
  • WRIT-250 Introduction to Fiction
  • WRIT-250 Introduction to Nonfiction
  • WRIT-250 Introduction to Poetry
  • WRIT-350 Int NF: Literary Journalism
  • WRIT-350 Int Nonfiction: Memoir
  • WRIT-350 Int Nonfiction: Personal Essay
  • WRIT-350 Inter NF: Lit Journalism
  • WRIT-350 Inter Nonfic:Personal Essay
  • WRIT-450 Adv NF: Memoir/Personal Essay
  • WRIT-450 Adv. Fiction: Short Story
  • WRIT-450 Advanced Fiction
  • WRIT-450 Advanced Fiction: Short Story
  • WRIT-500 Independent Study
  • WRIT-520 Practicum
  • WRIT-540 Internship
  • WRIT-590 Independent Writing Project

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