Martin, Celest

Celest Martin

Emeritus Professor

Emeritus Faculty/ Faculty & Staff/ Graduate/ Journalism

Celest Martin holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition, Linguistics, and Modern British and American Literature from the University of Southern California (1979), and a B.A. in English from Rutgers University, Camden College of Arts and Sciences where she minored in sociology and French. She has taught at URI for 34 years and published in rhet/comp, disability studies, and creative nonfiction. During that time she has mentored over 20 graduate students as major professor, and served as a committee member for many others. She served for thirty years in the former College Writing Program, 23 years of those years in the English department. In 2003, CWP became independent, and in 2005 became the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. In 2009, she returned to one of her undergraduate interests and joined the Journalism faculty.


Over the years, she has consulted for a Providence PR firm (First Night), been active in both the Autism Project of Rhode Island and The Autism Society of Rhode Island, and co-founded the South Kingstown Farm School, now the Independent Transition Academy located in Independence Square on the URI Campus. For these activities, and for the hours of public writing she donated to these projects, she has received awards from the Rhode Island Department of Education, from The Autism Project of Rhode Island, and from Congressman Jim Langevin. She has been an active member of the Faculty Senate and the Joint Strategic Planning Committee, as well as other Senate, College and Departmental committees. She remains an involved member of the disability community in Rhode Island, serves on the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council, and authors a community blog for persons with disabilities and their families on the Council’s website.

Since the inception of her career, she has had a deep and abiding interest in what constitutes “craft” in writing, and in how writers connect to their audiences. She has explored these interests in both articles and book chapters, most recently in a 2010 chapter on the place of creative nonfiction in the Writing Major. Current research and teaching interests include application of rhetorical strategies to the teaching of Journalism, Disability Studies, and creative nonfiction. She has published in Rhetoric and Composition, Disability Studies, and writes both creative nonfiction and poetry. She is currently a free-lance copy editor for Linus Publications in Long Island, NY, and is co-authoring an editing book with Steven Darian, Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University. Her autistic son, Andrew , is soon to begin life in his own apartment, leaving her finally able to finish No Tomorrow Today, a memoir begun in 1995 whose end point, she realized, would not occur until Andrew fulfilled his own dream of independent living. She looks forward to completing this labor of love in retirement when she can give it the full attention it deserves.