My Story

I grew up in a multilingual household where my father loved to read science fiction and satire in Bengali, my mother loved to read philosophy in Sanskrit, Bengali, and Hindi, and where my passion for discovering new worldviews and imaginations through writing first began. Before and after my MFA, I had the good fortune to study Anglophone, Francophone, Japanese, Bengali, Hindi, and German literature. My writing is informed by multilingualism, transnationalism, and boundary-jumping work. I am currently writing a memoir and manifesto on female cool, a novel about a Tamil-Jewish family in crisis during a post-authoritarian regime, and a book on South Asian poetic and narrative forms for creative writers. Prior to Warren Wilson, I taught at Harvard, UC Berkeley, LMU Munich, and Vermont College of Fine Arts, and I am honored to lead the MFA Program for Writers, which centers artistry, rigor, community, and the possibilities of the imagination.

A headshot photo of Dr. Rita Banerjee
Dr. Rita Banerjee with Colleagues
Dr. Rita Banerjee with Students


  • B.A. (Honors) in English Honors, Minors: Japanese; Cinema Studies, Rutgers University
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing, University of Washington
  • A.M. in Comparative Literature, Harvard University
  • Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Harvard University

Research Interests

  • Lyric Collage in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Documentary Film
  • Speculative Nonfiction and Speculative Fiction
  • Multilingualism and Translation

Courses Taught

The MFA Program for Writers is a low-residency program with ten-day residencies twice per year complimenting closely-supervised independent study. Learn more about the program.