Marilyn Sides

Senior Lecturer in English

Teaching focuses on creative writing, mainly fiction and travel writing.

My teaching ranges from creative writing (fiction and travel writing) to the study of and critical writing about literature, both poetry and fiction. My first published story, "The Island of the Mapmaker's Wife," appeared in the 1990 O. Henry Prize Stories collection. A collection of stories, The Island of the Mapmaker's Wife and Other Tales, appeared in 1996 (Harmony) and my first novel, The Genius of Affection (Harmony) was published in August 1999.


  • B.A., University of Utah
  • M.A., University of Utah
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Current and upcoming courses

  • Topic for Fall 2024: Writing the Travel Essay. Taken a trip lately—junior year abroad, summer vacation, spring break? Looked back fondly or in horror at a family road trip? Turn your experience into a travel essay. We study both the genre of the literary travel essay as well as the more journalistic travel writing found in newspaper travel sections and travel magazines. And, of course, write our own travel narratives. The course focuses on the essentials of travel writing: evocation of place, a sophisticated appreciation of cultural differences, a considered use of the first person (travel narratives are closely related to the genre of memoir), and basic strong writing/research skills.