Dr. Hesse is founding Executive Director of the Writing Program at the University of Denver and Professor of English. In 2015, he was named as the President of the National Council of Teachers of English. He is author of over 65 essays and co-author of four books, including Creating Nonfiction, co-authored with the writer Becky Bradway (Bedford/St. Martin’s) and the Simon and Schuster Handbook for Writers.
Hesse has presented over 130 readings, talks, and conference papers, more than 30 of them as keynote speaker, and chaired the Executive Committee of the MLA Division on Teaching as a Profession. He was founding coordinator of the Norman Mailer/NCTE National High School and College Writing Awards in Creative Nonfiction. Hesse is a former Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), a former President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and a former editor of WPA: Writing Program Administration.
Hesse previously taught at Illinois State University, where he directed the Honors Program, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, the graduate program in English studies, and the writing program. The University of Denver Writing Program has received the prestigious CCCC Certificate of Excellence. His Ph.D. is from The University of Iowa, where he wrote and wrote about nonfiction.
He sings with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus and enjoys hiking and photography. He’s married to a writer and has three grown children, two of them successful journalists, one of them a successful cellist.