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 or Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. Or Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild. Rock was born and raised in Salt Lake City. His most recent novel, Passersthrough, involves a murder house, a fax machine, communications between the living and the dead, and a mountain lake that moves from place to place. He is also the author of the novels The Night Swimmers, SPELLS, Klickitat, 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 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 Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and an Alex Award, as well as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, he currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is a Professor in the English Department of Reed College. Leave No Trace, the film adaptation of My Abandonment, directed by Debra Granik, premiered at Sundance and Cannes and was released to critical acclaim in 2018.