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Pamela Petro

MFA in Creative Writing Faculty


Pamela teaches in the Nonfiction and Graphic Novel & Comics genres of Lesley's MFA in Creative Writing program. Pamela views the mentoring relationship in both as a dialogue rather than a traditional teaching experience.

"The most important thing I’ve discovered as a working writer, and that I can convey to students, is that inspiration comes from writing. Writing doesn’t come from inspiration. Slogging out one word after another, sketching one comics panel after the next—especially when you don’t know what you want to say or where you’re going—is an act of great bravery. It’s also the only way I know to sufficiently rev up my imagination to take creative leaps into the unknown. The usual advice is to write what you know. I say, write what you are familiar with, not what you know. The very act of writing helps us articulate the deep, important things we didn’t even know we knew. Only writing affords me access to that place of understanding inside me. And I see my job at Lesley University as helping students find their way to that place inside themselves."

In addition to mentoring students, Pamela directs the Dylan Thomas Summer School in Creative Writing at The University of Wales where Lesley MFA students have been attending for credit since the program began in 2014. If you’ve ever wanted to write about an 11th-century Welsh castle while in that castle, or compose a poem in the style of Dylan Thomas in Dylan Thomas’ childhood bedroom, come with us to Wales.

Learn more about Pam on her website and connect with her on Instagram @petropamela



  • The Long Field – A Memoir (2021)
  • The Slow Breath of Old Stone: A Romanesque Love Story (2005)
  • Sitting up with the Dead: A Storied Journey through the American South (2001, 2002, 2017) 
  • Travels in an Old Tongue: Touring the World Speaking Welsh (1997)

Artist's Books

  • AfterShadows: A Grand Canyon Narrative (2014)
  • Under Paradise Valley: A Play for Epitaphs (2015)

Selected Periodicals for Traditional Essays, Word-and-image essays, and Comics


  • Shortlisted for 2022 Wales Book of the Year Award
  • The Long Field - Wales and the Presence of Absence, a Memoir, named as one of the 2021 Best Travel Books of the Year by The Financial Times of London and The Telegraph
  • Bedford Pace Award for Writing on Britain
  • Black Rock Arts Fellow
  • Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon
  • MacDowell Fellow
  • Writer in Residence, Spring Creek Project
  • Honorary Fellow, University of Wales

Current Affiliations

  • Smith College
  • The University of Wales, Trinity St David (Director, The Dylan Thomas Summer School in Creative Writing)


MA, “The World and the Visual Imagination,” University of Wales Trinity St David;
BA, Brown University, Independent Honors Concentration in Writing and Illustration