Professor of Creative Writing
Division of Literature and Languages
Peter Rock joined the Reed College faculty in 2001. He teaches the writing of prose, both fiction and non-fiction, with special interest in the intersection between the two, economical forms, the fantastic and invisible, animals, ghosts and linkages of every kind. His favorite book is most likely Yasunari Kawabata’s Palm-of-the-Hand Stories. Rock was born and raised in Salt Lake City. His most recent novel is Klickitat, which concerns mysterious writing, wilderness survival and the relationship between two sisters. He is also the author of the novels The Shelter Cycle, My Abandonment, The Bewildered, The Ambidextrist, Carnival Wolves and This Is the Place, as well as a story collection, The Unsettling. Rock attended Deep Springs College, received a BA in English from Yale University, and held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He has also taught fiction at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Deep Springs College, and in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. His stories and freelance writing have both appeared and been anthologized widely, and his books published in various countries and languages. The recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Alex Award and others, he resides in Portland with his wife, who saves lives, two fierce young daughters, and various animals. His novel-within-photographs, Spells, has been shown at Blue Sky Gallery and throughout Oregon; it was published as a book in 2017. The film adaptation of My Abandonment, directed by Debra Granik, premiered at Sundance and Cannes and was released in June of 2018. Rock’s tenth work of fiction, The Night Swimmers — which involves open water swimming, the vagaries of memory, and the use of sensory deprivation tanks — will be published in early 2019.