WATERVILLE — Colby College will add a second writer-in-residence program that will enable students to study under accomplished creative writers and give the public opportunities to attend readings and lectures.

The position was created following a donation to its capital campaign from Jamie and Jennifer Forese, the parents of two recent graduates of the Waterville college.

Jamie Forese, a retired Citigroup president, is also a trustee of the college.

The residency — to be called the Jennifer Jahrling Forese Writer-In-Residence Program in Creative Writing — will begin in 2020, according to information provided by Colby.

Faculty in the creative writing program are currently in the process of selecting a candidate, Provost Margaret McFadden told The Colby Echo, the student newspaper.

“As an avid reader of literature, with a keen interest in the art of writing, I am excited to give students the opportunity to work closely with a variety of authors,” said Jennifer Forese. “The entire Colby community stands to benefit from the direct interaction with accomplished writers and the ability to learn intimately about the inspiration behind the work of these professionals.

“Jamie and I are grateful to Colby and the opportunities it has provided to two of our sons. This feels like a perfect way to give a little back.”

The school currently has one similar program, called the Kristina Stahl Writer-in-Residence, a position occupied by Ana Menéndez for 2019-20. It is also sponsoring three other writers to visit campus for one-night readings. Those authors include Terrance Hayes, Jaed Coffin and Lillian Yvonne-Bertram.

The future hires under the Forese program could teach semester-long courses, writing workshops, master classes and advise honors or capstone projects in addition to hosting community events, McFadden noted.

“This incredible gift brings additional dynamism to an already outstanding program at Colby,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “Our students work with award-winning poets, novelists and nonfiction writers on our faculty, and will now have new opportunities to learn from a wide range of authors who will challenge and enlighten us in exciting ways.”

Colby now offers 11 courses in creative writing, ranging from playwriting to environmental writing and documentary radio production, according to the program’s website. While students cannot major in creative writing, English majors can declare a concentration in the field. It is also offered to any student as a minor.

Ruth Jackson, the school’s vice president of communications, did not respond to questions before press time about the sum of the Foreses’ donation, how many years it will support a resident and the expected salary of the position.

McFadden said the liberal arts college of approximately 1,800 students is committed to strengthening its arts and humanities offerings.

“Colby continues to be an institution that places a high value on programs and experiences in the arts and humanities that enrich our intellectual culture,” she said. “This gift is an expression of how our campaign, Dare Northward, is making an immediate impact on the student and faculty experience.”


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