Marcia Douglas Headshot

Since the 1970s, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Creative Writing program has consistently provided a center for strong experimental writing in the Rockies. Over the years and through the influx of students entering and exiting the program, an undeniable constant has been the faculty members who dedicate their careers to educating writers, emerging and established. 

One said faculty member devoted to student success is Marcia Douglas, full professor in the Creative Writing Program, a National Endowment of the Arts fellow and U.K. Poetry Book Society Recommendation recipient. 

Douglas, born in the U.K., grew up in Jamaica and attributes much of her biggest influences and inspirations to be from the people in those Jamaican communities – “everyday Jamaicans who take the little that they are given, molding it and making do.”She came to the States to complete her MFA at Ohio State University and her PhD at Binghamton University in New York. She was then hired at CU Boulder in 2001 and has now spent 18 years of her teaching career in the department. She has found a home at CU Boulder because “among both my colleagues and students, there are so many talented writers and thinkers here – I feel inspired and very fortunate to be in such company.”

Much of being a part of the Creative Writing faculty is being a mentor to students of all ages, skillsets and interests. This mentorship is one of Douglas’ favorite parts of working as a professor at CU: “I value my one-on-one interactions with students and the opportunity to connect on a personal level. Supporting another writer and scholar along their path is meaningful work. Such interactions resonate and remain with us for a long time.”

While having taught many different courses over the span of 18 years, Douglas was quick to answer that undergraduate Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Workshops have always been her favorite courses to teach. “Teaching that cohort is hard work but has the potential to be particularly gratifying; that is, students in those courses are often very much in formation, at a crossroads, wondering what it even means to be a writer, or how to move forward.” Marcia has worked and continues to work with both undergraduate and graduate creative writers in the program. 

It is also no secret that Marcia Douglas is a superbly talented writer with publications in fiction and poetry. She is the author of the novels The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: a novel in bass riddim (Peepal Tree Press, 2016), Notes from a Writer’s Book of Cures and Spells (Peepal Tree, Leeds, 2005), and Madam Fate (Women’s Press, London and Soho Press, NY, 1999), as well as the poetry collection, Electricity Comes to Cocoa Bottom (Peepal Tree Press, 1999), which received the Poetry Book Society Recommendation from the British Arts Council mentioned prior. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies internationally, including Edexcel Anthology for English Language/London Examinations IGCSE, The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse/Oxford Press, The Forward Book of Poetry/Faber and Faber, Kingston Noir/Akashic Press, Jubilation: 50 Years of Jamaican Independence/Peepal Tree, Mojo Conjure Stories/Warner, Whispers from Under the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction/Invisible Cities, and The Art of Friction/Univ. of Texas. She also performs a one-woman show, Natural Herstory, adapted from her fiction, and directed by Cecilia Pang. 

Currently, Douglas is working on a project that explores various permutations of fugitivity. “Like my last novel, this project engages with a number of historical figures.  I am always excited about new projects because it is the territory of the unknown and because I honestly do not know what will turn up on the page from day to day. I like to dwell in that sort of uncharted space.”