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Alena Graedon, M.F.A. Interim MFA Program Director, English

Alena Graedon, M.F.A.

  • Associate Professor
  • Graduate Faculty

Department: English

Office: The Great Hall Annex 403

Office Hours: Sabbatical, Fall 2023-Spring 2024.

Phone: 732-923-4769


Alena Graedon’s first novel, The Word Exchange, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Paperback Row pick, and selected as a best novel of 2014 by Kirkus, Electric Literature, and Tor. It has been published in ten countries and translated into eight languages. Graedon’s nonfiction has been published in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review,, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Believer magazine, Tablet, and Guernica, among other publications. She is at work on two novels and a collection of short stories. Stories from her collection-in-progress have appeared in the VICE magazine fiction issue and in Southern Humanities Review. Graedon has twice received fellowships from MacDowell and The Ucross Foundation; she has also received fellowships from Yaddo, Lighthouse Works, Jentel, VCCA, and The Vermont Studio Center.

Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers


M.F.A., Columbia University

B.A., Brown University


The Word Exchange (Doubleday, 2014).


She is currently at work on two novels and a collection of short stories.

Professional Associations

PEN America


Recently Taught Classes

2023 Spring

  • Advanced Creative Writing – EN 451
  • Manuscript Seminar – EN 644
  • Publishing Seminar – EN 650

2022 Fall

  • Creative Writing: Introduction – EN 251
  • Fiction Workshop – EN 611
  • Manuscript Seminar – EN 644

2022 Spring

  • Advanced Creative Writing – EN 451
  • Craft Seminar – EN 615

2021 Fall

  • Craft of Writing – EN 352
  • Creative Writing: Fiction – EN 252
  • Fiction Workshop – EN 611

2021 Spring

  • Advanced Creative Writing – EN 451

Frequently Taught Classes

  • Advanced Creative Writing (EN 451)
  • Creative Writing: Fiction (EN 252)
  • Creative Writing: Introduction (EN 251)
  • Fiction Workshop (EN 611)
  • Literature II: Neoclassical to the Present (EN 202)
  • Manuscript Seminar (EN 644)
  • Seminar in Creative Writing: Fiction (EN 611)
  • Seminar in Creative Writing: Writer’s Craft (EN 615)