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List of University of Michigan arts alumni

The parent article is at List of University of Michigan alumni
Academic unit key
Symbol Academic unit

ARCH Taubman College
BUS Ross School of Business
COE College of Engineering
DENT School of Dentistry
GFSPP Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
HHRS Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
LAW Law School
LSA College of LS&A
MED Medical School
SMTD School of Music, Theatre and Dance
PHARM School of Pharmacy
SED School of Education
SNRE School of Natural Resources
SOAD School of Art & Design
SOI School of Information
SON School of Nursing
SOK School of Kinesiology
SOSW School of Social Work
SPH School of Public Health
MDNG Matriculated, did not graduate

This is a list of arts-related alumni from the University of Michigan.


  • Belles lettres 1
  • Art, architecture, design 2
  • Arts and entertainment 3
    • Directors/producers/screenwriters 3.1
    • Literature and graphic arts 3.2
    • Misc. 3.3
    • Music 3.4
    • Oscar nominees and winners 3.5
    • Talent Management 3.6
    • Theatre 3.7
  • Fiction/non-fiction 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Belles lettres

  • Daniel Aaron (BA 1933) “…may be the most eminent living critic of American literature and culture.” He is the author of many articles and books, including, Men of Good Hope: A Story of American Progressives, The Unwritten War: Writers of the Civil War and, with Richard Hofstadter and William Miller, The Structure of American History, all books that have appeared in numerous editions.
  • Uwem Akpan (M.F.A. 2007), Jesuit priest and Nigerian author. Akpan's 2008 book "Say You're One of Them" contains fictional accounts of people seeking normality in the face of often extreme circumstances. "Say You're One of Them" won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award.
  • Max Apple, (BA 1963). Author of: The Oranging of America (1976, short stories), Zip: A Novel of the Left and the Right (1978, novel), Three Stories (1983, short stories), Free Agents (1984, novel), The Propheteers: A Novel (1987, novel), Roommates: My Grandfather's Story (1994, biography, of Apple's grandfather)
  • Robert Arthur, Jr., (BA 1930), writer, novelist, editor. Created the juvenile "The Three Investigators" mystery series and worked on the anthology TV series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
  • Sven Birkerts, (A.B. 1973), Essayist and author of The Gutenberg Elegies
  • Michael Byers (MFA) is an American writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. (MFA 1988) (born January 15, 1954) is a Filipino writer.
  • Mary Gaitskill, Bad Behavior (1988), Two Girls, Fat and Thin (1991), Because They Wanted To (1997) (stories), Veronica (2005).
  • Josh Greenfeld, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and author of A Child Called Noah trilogy.
  • Judith Guest, (B.A. 1959), wrote Ordinary People, which was later turned into an Academy Award winning film.
  • Aaron Hamburger (B.A. 1995) (born 1973) is an American writer best known for his short story collection The View from Stalin's Head (2004) and novel Faith for Beginners (2005). The View from Stalin's Head was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy in Rome. His next book, Faith for Beginners, is a novel about a dysfunctional family vacation in Jerusalem, and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.
  • Gabrielle Hamilton (MFA) owner/manager of Prune restaurant in Manhattan, and author of Blood Bones and Butter. Recipient of the James Beard award for best chef.
  • Robert Hayden, (MA 1944), Professor of Poetry 1969-1980.
  • Matthew Hittinger (M.F.A. 2004) he is the author of the poetry collection Skin Shift (2012), and the chapbooks Pear Slip (2007) winner of the Spire Press 2006 Chapbook Award.
  • James Avery Hopwood, (AB 1905), playwright, established the U-M Hopwood Awards (won by Arthur Miller and Lawrence Kasdan, q.v.). One of the premier playwrights of the jazz age and had, at one time, 4 plays running simultaneously on Broadway.
  • Randa Jarrar (born 1978 in Chicago) is a Palestinian-American novelist, short story writer, and translator.
  • Laura Kasischke, (M.F.A. 1987) author and Guggenheim award winner, In a Perfect World ;Suspicious River ; White Bird in a Blizzard ; The Life Before Her Eyes ; Boy Heaven ;Be Mine ;Feathered
  • Jane Kenyon, (B.A 1970, M.A. 1972), poet and wife of former Michigan Professor Donald Hall, U.S. Poet Laureate.
  • Elizabeth Kostova, (M.F.A. 2004), writer. Her first novel, The Historian, was published in 2005, and has become a best-seller.
  • Janet Malcolm, 1955, was a writer for The New Yorker and wrote In the Freud Archives.
  • Sebastian Matthews (MFA) is an American poet, and writer.
  • Thomas McGuane (MDNG), novelist
  • Nami Mun is a Korean American novelist and short story writer.
  • Patrick O'Keeffe, (MFA), winner of the Chamberlain Award for Creative Writing for Above the Bar. (administered by the Hopwood Program) and instructor in the University of Michigan's Sweetland Writing Center has won the 2006 Story Prize, the richest U.S. prize for short fiction, for The Hill Road, a collection of four novellas set in a fictional Irish farming village. O'Keeffe's writing has been compared to the Irish short-story and novel writer William Trevor. Mr. O'Keeffe received the 2006 Whiting Writers Award at a ceremony October 25 at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City
  • Frank O’Hara, (M.A. 1951). Author of: A City Winter and Other Poems,Oranges: 12 pastorals, Second Avenue, Odes, Lunch Poems. Love Poems.
  • Susan Olasky, (AB 1975), author.
  • Susan Orlean, (AB 1976), wrote The Orchid Thief. The book was made into the movie Adaptation.
  • Marge Piercy, (AB 1957), wrote Braided Lives and Fly Away Home. Hopwood Program award winner.
  • Matthew Rohrer (BA) American poet and Hopwood Award winner.
  • Ari Roth playwright and Artistid Director of Theater J
  • Ruth L. Schwartz (MFA 14985) is an American poet.
  • Allen Seager, author, Amos Berry and A Frieze of Girls
  • John Sinclair (B.A. 1964) (born October 2, 1941 in Flint, Michigan, United States) is an American poet from Detroit, one-time manager of the band MC5
  • Betty Smith, (1921–22, 1927, 1931), author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Nancy Willard(BA, Ph.D).In 1982, she received the Newbery Medal for A Visit to William Blake's Inn.
  • Edmund White, (AB 1962), wrote for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
  • Stewart Edward White,(Ph.D., 1895; M.A., 1903). Author

Art, architecture, design

Arts and entertainment


  • Libby Appel the fourth artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
  • Wyatt Bardouille, (BS 1997), producer/director of Dominica: Charting a Future for Paradise.
  • Forman Brown (BA 1922) Forman's Yale Puppeteers, which he established upon graduating from University of Michigan, opened a puppet theatre in Los Angeles in the 1920s which attracted celebrity attention and support from some of Hollywood's biggest names, i.e. Greta Garbo, Marie Dressler, and Douglas Fairbanks, as well as other notable figures including Albert Einstein.
  • Hal Cooper, (BA 1946), was a TV producer/director for “Maude,” “Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Mayberry RFD,” “That Girl,” “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Empty Nest.”
  • Valentine Davies, (BA 1927), was a screenwriter for “Miracle on 34th Street.”
  • Lillian Gallo (BA) 1978 winner of a Crystal Award, and award established in 1977 to honor outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.
  • Megan Ganz (B.A. 2006) is an American comedy writer and former associate editor of The Onion.
  • Jon Glaser, (BA) writer, comedian
  • Jonathan Glickman, (BA 1991), President of Spyglass Entertainment and producer of Rush Hour (1998 film) series.
  • Jon Hein, (BA 1989), creator of the popular Jump the Shark website.
  • Adam Herz, (BA 1996) writer and producer of American Pie
  • Max Hodge, (BA 1939), was a TV writer for “Wild, Wild West,” “Mission Impossible,” “Marcus Welby” and “The Waltons.”
  • Lawrence Kasdan, (BA 1970, MA 1972), studied creative writing and won four Hopwood Awards. Best known for his work on the Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and on Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Aviva Kempner (A.B.) director and screenwriter
  • Maryam Keshavarz (M.A.) filmmaker
  • Philip N. Krasne, (B.A, 1927) producer of the later Charlie Chan films and the Cisco Kid television series.
  • David Levien, (BA 1989), co-wrote and co-directed “The Knockaround Guys,” a movie about the sons of New York gangsters. Levien also co-wrote the poker movie “Rounders,” which starred Matt Damon.
  • Robert McKee, (B.A.) is a creative writing instructor.
  • Marian Mercer played role of Nancy Beebe on It's a Living; Tony 1968 for Promises, Promises; Empty Nest Ursula Dietz (1992–94); It's a Living Nancy Beebe (1980–89); St. Elsewhere Eve Leighton (1983–86); Out on a Limb (4-Sep-1992) ; Murder in Three Acts (30-Sep-1986) ;Nine to Five (19-Dec-1980) ; Oh, God! Book II (3-Oct-1980) ; John and Mary (14-Dec-1969)
  • David Newman, (BA 1958, MA 1959), was a screenwriter for Superman I, II, III, Bonnie & Clyde, What's Up Doc? and Still of the Night.
  • Leslie Newman, (BA 1958), was a screenwriter for Superman.
  • Jeff Marx, (BA 1993), is a composer and lyricist of musicals. He is best known for creating the Broadway musical Avenue Q with collaborator Robert Lopez. Together, they wrote the show’s 21 songs.
  • Dudley Nichols, (MDNG: 1914-1917), was a screenwriter for For Whom the Bell Tolls, Stagecoach, the Oscar winning The Informer, and Bringing up Baby
  • Jack O'Brien, (AB 1961, MA 1962), is a Broadway producer of "The Full Monty" and "Hairspray," for which he won a Tony in 2003. He also was the producer of "His Girl Friday" in London for the National Theatre of Great Britain.
  • Paul Osborn was an American playwright and screenwriter best known for writing the screen adaptation of East of Eden. He received a Tony award in 1980 for best Broadway revival in 1980 for his play about four sisters, ``Morning`s at Seven,`` which originally opened on Broadway in 1939.
  • Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (BFAs 2007) - American musical theatre writing team.
  • Kerri Pomarolli (BFA, 1996) - Comedian
  • John Rich, (BA 1948, MA 1949), was an Emmy award winning producer for Maude, That Girl, Mayberry RFD, and MacGyver
  • Norman Rosten (M.A. 1936) was an American poet, playwright, novelist and Guggenheim award winner.
  • Davy Rothbart (born April 11, 1975) is an author, filmmaker, contributor to This American Life, and the editor/publisher of Found Magazine.
  • Allen Rucker, writer and television producer
  • Jeffrey Seller, (BA 1986), is a Broadway producer and three-time Tony Award winner for Best Musical (Rent in 1996, Avenue Q in 2004, and In the Heights in 2008).
  • Robert Shaye (BUS: BBA 1960) - Founder and Co-Chairman, New Line Cinema. Produced The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Initially ridiculed for backing the costly fantasy trilogy—it was easily the most expensive project New Line had ever undertaken— Shaye laughed all the way to the bank. The franchise racked up $2.92 billion at the box office, took home 17 Academy Awards
  • Ron Sproat (MA) created character Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows
  • Roger L. Stevens, (MDNG: 1928-1930, HLLD 1964), was a stage producer for West Side Story, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Man for All Seasons and Annie.
  • Christopher Yost, (BA 1995), is a screenwriter for Thor: The Dark World and Max Steel

Literature and graphic arts



Oscar nominees and winners

Academy Awards
86th Academy Awards
Official website .org.oscarswww

Talent Management



  • Megan Abbott (B.A.) is a US author of crime fiction and of a non-fiction analysis of hardboiled crime fiction. She won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2008 for Queenpin
  • Saladin Ahmed, science fiction and fantasy author, poet.
  • Philip Breitmeyer, (AB 1947), wrote Lightning Ridge! Further Adventures of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • Juliet Winters Carpenter, (BA, MA (1976)), Award Winning Translator of Japanese, Numerous Books
  • Meg Waite Clayton (LAW: JD) Clayton's first novel, The Language of Light, was a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize. Her novel The Wednesday Sisters became a national bestseller and a book club favorite.
  • James Oliver "Jim" Curwood (MDNG: 1899-1900) (June 12, 1878 – August 13, 1927) was an American action-adventure writer and conservationist.
  • Underwood Dudley, (PhD 1965), is a native of New York City. Is known for his popular writing about crank mathematics.
  • Elizabeth Ehrlich, wrote Miriam's Kitchen.
  • Connie Glaser, (M.A.), is an author, speaker and columnist on the topics of women's leadership and communications
  • Steve Hamilton, (AB 1983), wrote Blood is the Sky, an Alex McKnight mystery set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. His 1999 novel A Cold Day in Paradise won an Edgar Award. His 2010 novel The Lock Artist won him a second Edgar Award, this time for Best Novel. With this second win, Hamilton joins only 4 other authors who have won the award twice.
  • Raelynn Hillhouse (HHRS: MA, PHD 1993): writes spy novelist and is also a noted national security expert and blogger (The Spy Who Billed Me), and political scientist.
  • Kathryn Lasky, (BA 1966), acclaimed children's author and non-fiction writer.
  • Ross Macdonald, (MA 1942, PhD 1952), wrote the Lew Archer Mystery Series.
  • Brad Meltzer, (AB 1992), has written The Zero Game, The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel and The Millionaires.
  • Walter Miller, (MA 1844), was a Classics scholar and the first to translate the Ilad into English in the native dactylic hexameter.
  • Sara Moulton (B.A. 1974)is the author of "Sara Moulton Cooks at Home," "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals," and "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."
  • Nami Mun (MFA) is a Korean American novelist and short story writer.
  • Davi Napoleon, (AB 1966, AM 1968), wrote Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater.
  • Elwood Reid is an American novelist and short-story writer.
  • Preeta Samarasan (MFA 2006), wrote Evening is the Whole Day.
  • Hubert Skidmore, Mr. Skidmore had written six novels by the time he was 30, including Hawk's Nest, about an industrial accident in West Virginia. Married to Maritta Wolff.
  • Robert Traver, (JD 1928), pen name for John D. Voelker, wrote Anatomy of a Murder.
  • David Treuer (Ph.D. 1999) (born 1970) is an American writer.
  • Maritta Wolff (B.A. 1940) Author of Whistle Stop, called by Sinclair Lewis "the most important novel of the year." Ms. Wolff also authored: About Lyddy Thomas (1947), Back of Town (1952), The Big Nickelodeon (1956) and Buttonwood (1962).
  • Sarah Zettel (BA) is an American science fiction, fantasy and mystery author.

See also


  1. ^ Quite Scientific- Chris Bathgate,
  2. ^ "Nomo". Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  3. ^ Theatre at Michigan, 2005/2006 Volume 17, Page #12 and #14 (PDF file)

External links

  • University of Michigan Alumni
  • Famous U-M Alumni
  • Alumni association of the University of Michigan
  • UM Alumni Information
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