T.S. Eliot asserts, "Wide valuable because in the process of being affected by one powerful personality after another, we cease to be dominated by anyone, or by any small number."

In addition, theologian Michael S. Horton notes, "Those who do not care to read secular books will be impoverished and will be susceptible to subtle and indirect seduction, while those who do not carefully study Scripture will lose their only plumb line for judging truth from error, belief from unbelief, right from wrong."

Recognizing the truth inherent in Eliot's and Horton's perspectives and recognizing that great writing stems from reading great writing, the CU Writing Center encourages the CU campus to read a book of literature a month.

And it won't just be novels. We'll throw in poetry, nonfiction, and plays, too.

Books to make you think. Books that are beautifully written. Books that may, or may not, be "Christian." Books whose styles and ideas will trickle through the veins of your minds, through your fingers, and into your own words.

You must read to write (well).

2013-2014 Read-to-Write Books


My Antonia
by Willa Cather
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize


Boxers & Saints
by Gene Luen Yang
A graphic novel


The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry
by Wendell Berry
Winner of the 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Lifetime Achievement Award


The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
Seven great works in one: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Obesrved, and The Abolition of Man


Proof: A Play
by David Auburn
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize


A Wreath for Emmett Till
by Guggenheim and Fulbright fellow Marilyn Nelson
Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Exellence in Young Adult Literature


Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian
by Brett Lott
New York Times Best-Selling Author

April (National Poetry Month)

A reprise of two of this year's authors!

  • The New Day: New and Collected Poems 1979–2012
    by Wendell Berry
  • The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems
    by Marilyn Nelson
    Finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the 1996 National Book Award, and the PEN Winship Award

As always, the writing center will give out five FREE copies of these books each month to the first five students who come and meet with tutors and ask for one!