Brown aids Literary Festival

As Mercyhurst University nears the end of the Annual Literary Festival, there are many that need to be acknowledged for their contributions to the celebration, including Gregory Brown, Ph.D.

For the past few years, Brown has chosen the poets to speak to the students, including Andrew Hudgins, Jane Hirshfield and this year’s poet, Mohja Kahf.

For this year’s festival, Brown also invited Ann Fisher-Wirth, who served as Brown’s dissertation advisor and thesis advisor during his collegiate education.

Brown is also an accomplished poet. His work has been included and acknowledged in published books of poetry, several of which display his environmentally-based poetry.

Brown became an English professor at Mercyhurst in 2005 when his wife, now English Department Chair Christina Riley-Brown, Ph.D., accepted a teaching position at the school. After moving to Erie, he took an adjunct teaching position and became a full-time professor in 2007.

Before coming to Mercyhurst, Brown obtained a number of degrees, including a bachelor of arts from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and a Masters and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.

At University of Mississippi, he received “very strong training in composition and literature classes with a close-knit group of graduate instructors,” Brown said.

Because the English Department at Mercyhurst is small, Brown said most of the English professors teach a variety of courses.

Some classes he has taught in the past range from Introduction to Sustainability in a team-taught environment, to Introduction to Creative Writing and multiple literary classics courses.

This past spring semester, Brown also taught the first Environmental Poetry classes, a 200-level English course.

Along with teaching a range of classes, Brown serves as the head of the Writing Center in Hammermill Library. The position involves making the schedule for appointments, building and managing the Writing Center online website, hiring and training the employees and conducting workshops.

The goal of the Writing Center is to help students improve in the writing process. This includes proofreading a rough draft, revising and editing a developed or final draft, analyzing and understanding the assignment and following academic style and citation methods.

Students may bring in a multitude of writing projects, such as business letters, lab reports, research papers, resumes and personal essays. This service is free to use by appointment or walk-in.

If you would like to learn more about the Literary Festival, or about the Writing Center, contact Greg Brown at