Department of English

Elizabeth Rush

Assistant Professor of the Practice, Nonfiction Writing Program
Office: 70 Brown St., Rm. 401A
Research Interests Creative nonfiction, Environmental Literature



  • B.A. English, Reed College, 2006.
  • M.F.A, Southern New Hampshire University, 2010.

Professional Accomplishments

Elizabeth Rush is the author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, and Still Lifes from a Vanishing City: Essays and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar. Her work explores how humans adapt to changes enacted upon them by forces seemingly beyond their control, from ecological transformation to political revolution. Rush's essays have appeared in the New York TimesHarpers, Granta, Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Guernica, Le Monde Diplomatique and others. Rush is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Howard Foundation, Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project, the Society for Environmental Journalism, the National Society of Science Writers and the Metcalf Institute. She is currently at work on a book about motherhood and Antarctica's diminishing glaciers. 

Recent News

I met Elizabeth Rush on Twitter, through friends I also met on Twitter, who all resided, generally, in Providence, Rhode Island, and who didn’t necessarily know each other in real life. In the summer of 2019, we all broke bread and drank beer in a Providence backyard where the conversation centered around toxics, built and natural environments, sociology, chemistry, writing, and the publishing industry—all except Elizabeth who had been invited but had run off to other climes: Columbia and then on to Antarctica to work on a new book. Before our group met again online in April 2020, this time including Elizabeth, I re-read her book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, which was a Pulitzer finalist for 2018. In it, she took complex topics (rising seas, climate change, the human condition) and showed the vulnerability of all three in a way that made me feel at home. In her voice, I recognized a sibling to my own. As girls, we played a little too rough, swore a little too much, considered our stubbornness a positive thing, but we always kept our hearts in the game. And in our books, I also saw parallels in the way we told stories, by allowing humans their humanity and nature its course, all the while recording the former’s intrusion upon the latter.

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The New York Times

This Is Not the Way to Stop Homes From Flooding

The federal government is considering a plan that could cost taxpayers more money and encourage land speculation without addressing the problem.
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