Gwendolyn Oxenham

Adjunct Faculty

Liberal Arts
Gwendolyn Oxenham headshot
MFA Fiction
Bio: 

At sixteen, I was the youngest Division I athlete in NCAA history, a starter and leading goal scorer for Duke. At twenty, my career was over. The women's pro league folded and I wasn't good enough for the national team. So I got a new life: since writing and reading were the only things I loved as much as playing, I went to the University of Notre Dame for my MFA in creative-writing. I received the Nicholas Sparks Prize, a post-graduate grant that gave me a free year to write and hatch plans. Not quite ready to be done with the game, I set off with friends to make a documentary about pickup soccer around the world, playing with anyone from prisoners in Bolivia to women in hijab in Iran. (You can check out the trailer for our award-winning doc at www.pelada-movie.com.) This experience also became the material for my book, Finding the Game: Three Years, Twenty-Five Countries, and the Search for Pickup Soccer (St. Martin's Press 2012). I've also contributed articles to The New York Times, Sports Illustrated.com, and The Atlantic. I continue to read, write, teach, and, of course, play pickup.