April 08, 2020
Glen Retief, associate professor and co-chair of the Department of English & Creative Writing at Susquehanna University, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to help develop a college bridging program in Mamelodi, South Africa.
Offered by the University of Pretoria, this program aims to leverage creative writing to build self-confidence and reading/study habits among educationally disadvantaged adults. As part of this prestigious award, Retief will also publish research on how creative writing teaching can more generally serve educational development.
Retief grew up in a South African game park during the apartheid era but emigrated to the U.S. in 1994. His memoir, The Jack Bank (SMP, 2011), won a Lambda Literary Award and was selected as a Book of 2011 by the Africa Book Club.
Retief's essays and short stories have appeared in numerous publications and journals, including Virginia Quarterly Review; Puerto del Sol, Fugue; The Massachusetts Review; The Greensboro Review; New Contrast, South Africa's premier literary magazine; and Tribute, a South African mass market glossy magazine.
He also occasionally publishes newspaper columns and op-ed pieces in, among others, The South African Daily Maverick, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Tampa Bay Times and The Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Retief mostly teaches creative nonfiction classes at Susquehanna, where he directs the creative writing program. He is also one of the program directors for the Global Opportunities program Travel Writing in South Africa, which takes students to Retief’s native South Africa to visit a rural, Xhosa seaside village, to turn their experiences into travel essays.
Retief earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town, his master’s in fine arts from the University of Miami and his doctorate from Florida State University.