Cynthia Macdonald, founder and first director of the Creative Writing Program, is the winner of a Farfel Award, the highest honor the University of Houston can bestow on its faculty members. In 2000 she was also named a Moores University Scholar in recognition of her outstanding contributions in creative achievement, teaching, and service. Her poetry has been collected in six volumes and widely anthologized as well as appearing regularly in periodicals such as The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner, The Yale Review, The Paris Review, and TriQuarterly Review. Her awards include three NEA Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the O.B. Hardison, Jr., Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. In addition to her teaching and poetry writing, she produces reviews, stories, and personal essays and gives readings and talks nationwide. A graduate and faculty member of the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute, she maintains a small practice as a psychoanalyst/therapist. Her most recent book, I Can't Remember, was published in paperback in the spring of 1999.
Mark Doty joined the poetry faculty in the fall of 1998 after teaching at the University of Utah, University of Iowa, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and other universities. The classes that he offers graduate students include poetry and memoir workshops as well as specialized literature courses. In addition to his five books of poems and two memoirs, he has published poetry, prose, and criticism in all the major journals and has been anthologized widely. His work has been honored with the T.S. Eliot Prize from the United Kingdom, a Whiting Writers' Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, a PEN/Martha Allbrand Nonfiction Prize, the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry, and the Lambda Literary Award. In 2000 he received a three-year Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and he has been the recipient of fellowships from the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, the NEA, and the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Ingram Merrill Foundations.
Robert Phillips is the author or editor of some 30 volumes of poetry, fiction, criticism, and belles lettres and publishes in numerous journals. A professor of English, he was director of the Creative Writing Program from 1991 to 1996. His honors include a 1996 Enron Teaching Excellence Award, a Pushcart Prize, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a New York State Council on the Arts CAPS Grant in Poetry, MacDowell Colony and Yaddo Fellowships, a National Public Radio Syndicated Fiction Project Award, a Syracuse University Arents Pioneer Medal, and Texas Institute of Letters membership. In 1998 he was named a John and Rebecca Moore Scholar at the University of Houston.