• CWP Mary Francois Rockcastle

    Mary François Rockcastle

    Director of The Creative Writing Programs

    Mary François Rockcastle is the author of the novels In Caddis Wood and Rainy Lake, both published by Graywolf Press. Rainy Lake was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award and earned a Best Book for the Teen Age from the New York Public Library. She is the recipient of a Bush Foundation Fellowship, a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction, and a Loft Mentor Award, all in fiction. She received the 2015 Kay Sexton Award in recognition of her long-standing dedication and outstanding work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity in Minnesota. Watch the video tribute from the Minnesota Book Awards.

    After completing an M.A. with a double emphasis in English and creative writing from the University of Minnesota, Rockcastle joined the adjunct faculty in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Hamline University. She and her colleagues worked together to develop and launch the MFA in Creative Writing program at Hamline, where she also began teaching. In 1997 she founded Water~Stone Review, a literary magazine which has earned numerous Pushcart Prizes and other honorable and notable mentions and for which she was awarded the W. Lindberg Award for Excellence in Literary Editing in 2009. She remains the executive editor.

    In 1999 Rockcastle became Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Programs at Hamline and in 2004 was made founding dean of the Graduate School of Liberal Studies (GLS). During this time she received an award for outstanding teaching and service. As Dean of GLS, she launched a low-residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults in 2007 and a BFA in creative writing in 2010. When GLS merged with the College of Liberal Arts in 2011, she became Director of The Creative Writing Programs. 

    She served for six years on the board of directors of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, three of them on the executive committee, and led the effort to create Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. She is currently on the board of the Kerlan Collection of Children's Literature at the University of Minnesota.

    She is married to architect Garth Rockcastle and lives in Minneapolis. Her older daughter, Maura Rockcastle, is a landscape architect and lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn. Her younger daughter, Siobhan Rockcastle, is an architect living and working in Boston.


  • Accomplishments


    In Caddis Wood
    Graywolf Press

    Rainy Lake

    Graywolf Press