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Lowry Pei

Lowry Pei

Lowry Pei

Lowry Pei grew up in St. Louis, got his B.A. in English at Harvard (1967) and his Ph.D. at Stanford (1975). He was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war. He came to Simmons in 1985 after teaching at the University of Missouri, UC San Diego, and Harvard's Expository Writing Program. Despite having done a dissertation on Anthony Trollope's Palliser novels, he somehow didn't turn into a Victorianist and instead has spent his career teaching writing. At Simmons he was director of Freshman Writing, later called Writing and Thinking, from 1985 to 1996, and then directed MCC, the first-year core/writing course, from 1996 to 1999. More recently, he led faculty workshops and seminars on teaching writing as part of the "Writing Infusion" initiative, whose goal is to have writing-intensive courses offered in all majors.

Professor Pei regularly teaches creative writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and a graduate seminar on teaching writing. A growing collection of his teaching materials, along with reflections on writing pedagogy and the creative process, can be found on the web at

Professor Pei has published literary criticism, book reviews, short stories, and a novel: Family Resemblances (Random House, 1986). His story "The Cold Room" appeared in Best American Short Stories 1984; his story "Naked Women" appeared in The American Story: The Best of StoryQuarterly (1990). Since coming to Simmons, he has written six so-far-unpublished novels and some equally unpublished short stories. His stealth literary career has been steadfastly ignored by agents and editors. Much of his published work, and some of the unpublished, can be found at

Pei's sabbatical project in 2007-2008 was a book on how we think about our relationship with nature, focusing especially on water. A chronicle of this project, including photos of obscure local waterways and a lot of first- or zeroth-draft writing, can be found at The resulting book, Waterways, can be found at

Visual Work


Doctor of Philosophy
Stanford University