Location: Bowdoin / Brock Clarke


Brock Clarke

A. Leroy Greason Professor of English
Chair of English Department

Contact Information


Massachusetts Hall - 103

Teaching this semester

ENGL 1043. Fact and Fiction

An introduction to the study and creation of various kinds of narrative forms (short story, travel essay, bildungsroman, detective fiction, environmental essay, satire, personal essay, etc.). Students write critical essays and use the readings in the class as models for their own short stories and works of creative nonfiction. Class members discuss a wide range of published canonical and contemporary narratives and workshop their own essays and stories. In doing so, the class dedicates itself to both the study of literature and the making of it.

ENGL 1228. Introductory Fiction Workshop

Introduces the beginning fiction writer to the craft of fiction writing, with an emphasis on the literary short story. Studies a wide range of published stories as well as examines student work. Critical writings on craft introduce students to technical aspects of the form: character, dialogue, setting, point of view, scene, summary, etc. Exercises and short assignment lead to longer works. All are expected to read, comment on, and discuss in depth each story that passes through the workshop, as well as to complete a major revision. Note: Fulfills the creative writing concentration requirement for English majors.

Brock Clarke


The Happiest People in the World (novel) Algonquin Books (Fall 2014) 

Exley (novel), Algonquin Books (Fall 2010)Exley (novel), Algonquin Books (Fall 2010)Happiest People in the World

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England (novel), Algonquin Books (September 2007); Heinemann (UK, Spring 2008); Text (Australia and New Zealand, Spring 2008); Arena (Holland, Spring 2008); Kinneret (Israel, Spring 2009); Albin Michel (France, Fall 2008); Einaudi (Italy, Fall 2009); Duomo (Spain, Fall 2009); Kein and Aber (Germany Fall 2009); Rocco (Brazil Fall 2009); Aquarius (Taiwan, Fall 2009)

Carrying the Torch (short story collection, winner of the Prairie Schooner Prize Book Series), University of Nebraska Press (September 2005; published in France by Albin Michel in Fall 2008)

The Ordinary White Boy (novel), Harcourt Books (Hardcover September 2001; Paperback September 2002)

What We Won't Do (short story collection, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize for Short Fiction), Sarabande Books (March 2002)

An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New EnglandCarrying the Torch The Ordinary White BoyWhat We Won’t Do


"Knock Knock," Iowa Review (Fall 2010)

"People Who Are Not Like Us," Sycamore Review (Fall 2010)

"Our Pointy Boots," Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses (Fall 2010)

"Our Pointy Boots," Ecotone (Winter 2009)

"This is Not a Story About How Much I Love You," Five Chapters (Fall 2007)

"Children Who Divorce," (fiction) Ninth Letter (Summer 2007)

"The Pity Palace," (fiction) Virginia Quarterly Review (Fall 2006)

"What is the Cure for Meanness?" (fiction) One Story (June 2006)

"That Which We Will Not Give," (fiction) New England Review (Spring 2006)

"The Price of the Haircut," (fiction) Agni (Summer 2005)

"The Ghosts We Love," (fiction) Virginia Quarterly Review (Summer 2005)

"The Apology," (fiction) Pushcart Prize XXIX: Best of the Small Presses (Spring 2005)

"We Found Ourselves in Toronto," (fiction) Land-Grant College Review (Fall 2005)

"The Lolita School," (fiction) New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2004

"Concerning Lizzie Borden, Her Axe, My Wife," The Missouri Review (Spring 2004)

"The Reason Was Us," (fiction) The Georgia Review (Spring 2004)

"The Misunderstandings," (fiction) Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 2004)

"Mr. Frost's Neighbors," (fiction) Vermont Literary Review (Fall 2004))

"Geronimo," Stories from the Blue Moon Café: An Anthology (2004)

"The Fundraiser's Dance Card," (fiction) The Southern Review (Winter 2004)

"Different," (fiction) Rivendell (Winter 2004)

"The Son's Point of View," (fiction) The Southern Review (Fall 2003)

"The Apology," (fiction) New England Review (Summer 2003)

"Geronimo," (fiction) Greensboro Review (Fall 2003)

"For Those of Us Who Need Such Things," (fiction) New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2003

"The Wedding Present," (fiction) Failbetter (2003)

"For Those of Us Who Need Such Things," (fiction) The Georgia Review (Fall 2002)

"The Hotel Utica," (fiction) Five Points (Fall 2002)

"The Lolita School," (fiction) StoryQuarterly (Fall 2002)

"Plowing the Secondaries," (fiction) New England Review (Spring 2001)

"She Loved to Cook but Not Like This," (fiction) New England Review (Spring 2001)

"Accidents," (fiction) Mississippi Review Web (Spring 2001)

"What We Won't Do," (fiction) Our Working Lives: Short Fiction of Work (Bottom Dog Press/the Ohio Arts Council, Fall 2000))

"The Fat," (fiction) Tatlin's Tower (Summer 2000)

"Carrying the Torch," (fiction) New England Review (Spring 2000)

"The World Dirty, Like a Heart," (fiction) American Fiction (Spring 1999)

"The Right Questions," (fiction) The Journal (Spring 1999)

"Up North," (fiction) The South Carolina Review (Fall 1999)

"Compensation," (fiction) New England Review (May 1998)

"A Widespread Killing Frost," (fiction) Mississippi Review (December 1997)

"The Reasons," (fiction) American Fiction (Fall 1996)


"Very," (essay), My Word, Sarabande Books (Forthcoming, Winter 2011)

"LosingYour Head: The Case for Henderson the Rain King," (essay), Ninth Letter (Fall 2010)

"Let Me Tell You What It Means to Be From Upstate New York: A Loser's Love Song" (essay), Why We're Here (Colgate University Press Fall 2010)

"The Facts about John Cheever," (essay), The Rumpus (October 2009)

"Artifice is Art: The Case for Muriel Spark," (essay) The Believer (Fall 2009)

"Leave Me With Something When You Leave Me," (essay) Love is a Four-Letter Word Plume, (Summer 2009)

"Remember the Banana," (essay), The Book of Dads, Ecco/Harper (Summer 2009)

"Cavepeople and Other Problems," (essay), Writer's Digest (Spring 2008)

"The Age of Foreclosure," (op ed), The New York Times (April 12, 2008)

The Novel is Dead; Long Live the Novel," (essay) Virginia Quarterly Review (Summer 2006)

"The Problem of Place in Contemporary Fiction," (essay) The Writer's Chronicle (Fall 2005)

"Why Good Literature Makes Us Bad People," (essay) The Believer (January 2005)

"Russo Keeps it Gritty, Hopeful," (essay) Cincinnati Enquirer (April 23, 2002)

"What Literature Can and Cannot Do: Lionel Trilling, Richard Rorty, and the Left," (essay) Massachusetts Review (Spring 2001)

"Why Memoir Isn't Always Art," (essay) The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 29, 1999)

"Art, Authenticity, and Social Transgression in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses," (essay) Southwestern American Literature (Fall 1999)

"'A Hostile Decade': The Sixties and Self-Criticism in William Kennedy's Early Prose," Twentieth Century Literature (Fall 1999)