Eric Grunwald

Writer, Teacher (ESL and Writing), Tutor, Translator, Manuscript Consultant


-Lecturer, English Language Studies Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

-CELOP at Boston University: (ESL; 2008-2014)
-Expository Composition (1998, 2011-12)

Suffolk University:
Creative Writing
American Literature
Freshman Composition

Roxbury Community College:
English as a Second Language
(Grammar, Conversation, Reading,

Grub Street Writers:
Manuscript Consulting

Can also teach:
Line Editing



Eric Grunwald lives in Boston, where he is currently at work on his first novel, a collection of short stories, and other projects. His fiction has appeared in Edit Red (fka Spoiled Ink) and, most recently, Prick of the Spindle. His book reviews have appeared in The Boston Sunday Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Denver Post, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Artsfuse and Agni. His translations (from German) have appeared in Partisan Review (2002), Two Lines (2005), and most recently, The MacGuffin (Hermann Hesse's fairy tale "The Poet," Grunwald's translation of which shared second place in the 1998 Robert Fitzgerald Translation Prize. His non-fiction has appeared in The Improper Bostonian.

Currently Grunwald teaches writing and ESL at MIT. He has taught expository composition and ESL at Boston University as well as creative writing, American literature, and composition at Suffolk University. As former chair of PEN New England's Freedom to Write Committee, he directed its prison writing program, organizing and leading writing workshops in men's and women's prisons in Massachusetts.

He now also does fiction and non-fiction manuscript consultations for Grub Street and independently. A graduate of the renowned Boston University Graduate Writing Program, Grunwald was once called by the director "probably the best reader in the class." He gives tactful, thorough, practical critiques. Email me via the link on the right.

An avowed Italophile, Grunwald has for the last several years been studying Italian, spending two- and four-week stints in Venice and elsewhere at language schools. He was fortunate enough to attend the (competitive-entry) Sirenland writers' conference in Positano, Italy, to work with one of his favorite writers, Jim Shepard.

Grunwald holds a BA from Stanford University in Russian and East European history and an MA in creative writing (fiction) from Boston University. From 2000 through early 2004 he was managing editor at the internationally recognized Agni Magazine, overseeing the production of nine biannual issues including a 400-page issue (Agni 54) dedicated to Amnesty International's fortieth anniversary; a 480-page poetry anthology (Agni 56, the magazine's largest issue ever), dedicated to Agni's own thirtieth anniversary; and the first three issues (Agnis 57-59) under acclaimed literary critic Sven Birkerts, the journal's first new editor in its three-decade history.

Grunwald has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation (2003) and the St. Botolph’s Club Foundation (2001), as well as residency fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. He has taught expository composition at Boston University, creative writing at Brookline Adult Education, and English in Berlin Germany. As a longtime member of PEN New England's Freedom to Write Committee (of which he is now chair) teaches volunteer writing workshops at Northampton County Prison and Bay State Correctional Center. He was also co-founder, with William Delman and Kate Woodworth, of the Bay State Underground reading series in Boston.

Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, he began his college career at Stanford fully intending to become an electrical engineer or astrophysicist. He’s still not sure what happened, though he does recall sleeping out in front of the English Department several times to get into creative writing workshops, dropping them after one class, and (according to a classmate) developing a reputation in the Department as “that guy who always signs up for the creative writing workshops but drops them after one class.” After graduation in June 1990 he spent close to a year in Berlin during the German Reunification, first working as a salesperson in a pastry shop, then teaching technical English to engineers from the former German Democratic Republic and becoming fluent in German.

Grunwald has also worked in technology licensing (the quarterly newsletter, Brainstorm, which he conceived, wrote, and edited for four+ years is still being published and was mentioned in the Atlantic Monthly in 2001), technical writing, and university fundraising.

Grunwald encourages you to support your local independent bookstore and wishes to request that if you must use Amazon, for God's sake at least access it through the website for Boston NPR station WBUR, which then receives a small percentage of the sale.

"This is the year. We either get it right, now, or we risk never getting it right, ever."
-- Bill McKibben, Environmental Author, 2009

Eric's Index:

- Year by which Polaris will no longer be the North Star: 4100
- Year by which much of the Persian Gulf will no longer be habitable: 2100
- Year in which men's names began to be used to name hurricanes: 1978
- Number of the 909 people who died that year at Jonestown who were children: 270
- Millions of cluster bombs dropped on Laos by the United States in its secret war there: 270
- Millions of those bombs that still remain unexploded: 80
- Millions of dollars in Roger Ailes' severance package from Fox: 40
- Average number of minutes it would take every American every day to read all the license agreements they must agree to on the Internet: 40
- Number of people out of 500 in a study of such electronic agreements who raised concerns over a clause saying that all their responses would be handed over to the NSA: 1
- Percentage who agreed to an agreement in which they might have to hand over their first-born child: 98

1 NPR, 6/10/16
2 Harper's, September 2016
3 PBS Newshour, 9/2/16
4 NYTimes, 4/18/05
5-6 CNN, 9/6/16
7 PBS Newshour, 9/6/16
8-10: Morning Edition, NPR, 8/23/16

Selected Works

Published short story
Translation of Viennese author's short story "Wahrzeichen"
Translation, from German, of Hermann Hesse’s short story “Der Dichter.”
Prose poem/Performance piece
Review of Orfeo, by Richard Powers (from
Review of Margot Livesey's latest novel.
Globe Review of Dr. Olaf van Schuler's Brain by Kirsten Menger-Anderson
Leonardo Sciascia's The Day of the Owl and Equal Danger (from Boston Globe)