Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Professional Title: M.F.A. Creative Writing Faculty
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Poetry
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Distance-Learning Courses:· Creative Writing I-IV · Craft and Reflection I-III· Graduating Seminar Preparation· Creative ThesisResidency Seminars:· The Art of Juxtaposition· Poetry Underfire
Education: B.A., Literature, Wilson College; M.A., Literature, University of Wisconsin; M.P.A., Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: Books of Poetry:The History of Hurricanes (2009)Guests (1991)The Paper Wasp (1999)
Teaching Philosophy: I develop an individual mentoring relationship for each student, according to his or her level of experience. Teaching this way allows me to understand not just what is on the page, but what could emerge. I urge my students to write the poems only they could write. This requires a willingness to be brutally honest with oneself, push past inhibitions, and let the poem-in-process take charge. One wants to hear the poet's deepest self through the poem's idiosyncratic speech. I believe this can only be achieved by rigorous study of poetic craft and extensive reading across the centuries. I require my students to pay attention to every word they read or write - for its sound as well as its meaning.
My special interests are innovations in world poetry - especially the poets of Eastern Europe, their mastery of craft enabling them to address urgent public issues artistically - and emerging hybrid forms. I am affiliated as an alumna with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and am interested in international and historical work. I have been on the board of the Concord Poetry Center and am on the board of Tuesday: An Art Project. Many of my students have published their work and won prizes, and three have founded literary magazines.
Awards: National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship; Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America (PSA); The Journal Award in Poetry; Bunting Institute Fellowship in Poetry; George Bogin Memorial Award from the PSA; Massachusetts Artist Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council; the John Athernon Fellowship in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony; the international Legacy Project.
Past affiliations: Department of Literature, M.I.T.; the Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Emerson College; Visiting Writer and Lecturer at UMass, Boston; poet-in-residence at many public and private schools.
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