Bret Lott


Bret Lott is the bestselling author of eight novels, three story collections and three nonfiction books; his fifteenth book, a nonfiction collection titled Cherries on the Golan, Olives in Jerusalem, will be out in 2023. His first novel, The Man Who Owned Vermont, was read in nationwide broadcasts on public radio. and his novel Jewel was both an Oprah Book Club selection and made into a film. His work has been translated into eight languages. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1984, studying under Jay Neugeboren and James Baldwin.

He has spoken on Flannery O'Connor at the White House, and served as Fulbright Senior American Scholar to Bar-llan University in Tel Aviv, Israel. From 2006 to 2013 he served as a member of the National Council on the Arts, and from 2010 to 2022 he directed the Spoleto Summer Study Abroad program in English at the College. 


M.F.A., Fiction, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

B.A., English, California State University-Long Beach

Research Interests

  • Writing fiction
  • Writing nonfiction
  • Contemporary American fiction
  • Literary publishing

Courses Taught

Fiction, creative nonfiction, writing the novel, experimental fiction; First Year Experience.



“On Za’atar.” Creative Nonfiction 76 (winter 2022).

“Olives in Jerusalem.” Talking River Review 51 (fall 2021).

“Security.” River Teeth 23.1 (fall 2021).

“One Night in Umbria.” Fourth Genre 23.2 (fall 2021).

“Sabbath.” Brevity May 2021. Web.

 Excerpt from novel in progress Save Me a PlaceAscent. November 2019. Web.