Akshay Ahuja

Assistant Professor

“The main thing that I’d like people to come away from my classes with is the idea that writing is actually fun. Some of the journaling and anxiety-free writing that I assign is designed to be an enjoyable thing to do.”

“I try to expose students to different registers of language so that they have a sense of when a certain voice is appropriate. That’s something they can use whether they’re writing an email to a friend or a cover letter. For those writing lyrics or even analyzing music, having a careful sense of language is invaluable. I try to include a lot of song lyrics in my classes, because I think the things that make for good writing—specificity, freshness of language, not using extraneous words—are always apparent in the best song lyrics, just like any other kind of writing.”

“The time I spent as a tutor has influenced my teaching a lot. As a tutor, I saw what assignments students had trouble with and what helped them. I also saw a lot of international students so I got a sense of what needed to be explained for people who haven’t had the standard American high school education.”

Career Highlights

  • M.F.A. in creative writing, Emerson College (2010); B.A. in English and political science, Rice University (2002)
  • Published in Crazyhorse, the Gettysburg Review, the Baltimore Review, Guernica, and several other journals
  • Production manager, editor, and writer for Ploughshares literary magazine