Information About Iowa State University's MFA Creative Writing Faculty.
2012-2013 Faculty Addition
Our dynamic MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment is in the process of enriching its faculty with a new fiction writer hire scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013. The following is the job description as advertised in the spring of 2013:
Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing. Iowa State University. We seek a nationally distinguished fiction writer to teach undergraduate English courses as well as graduate courses in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment. A unique three-year interdisciplinary writing program, the MFA in Creative Writing and Environment provides faculty with opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration and innovations in curriculum development through the environmental lens of the program. Minimum requirements for the position include an MFA or PhD, two books from eminent publishers/presses, demonstrated ability to publish and teach in a second genre, and evidence of accomplishment in teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level. Preference will be given to applicants who have a demonstrated interest in environmental thought and action; demonstrated knowledge of place-based, environmental writing and/or writing about the natural world; experience serving on graduate-level thesis committees; and a demonstrated commitment to the teaching of undergraduate creative writing courses, participating in MFA programs, and departmental service. Position begins August 2013. Initial teaching load 2/2. Please apply for this position through the Iowa State University website at www.iastatejobs.com by clicking on “Apply for this Vacancy” (#130091) and completing the Employment Application. Please be prepared to enter or attach the following materials for consideration: letter of application, curriculum vitae, 1-page teaching philosophy, short (20-30 pages) sample of creative work, and list of four references including email and phone number. Application deadline is March 17, 2013. Direct letters of application to Dr. Barbara Ching, Department of English Chair. AA/EO Employer. Women and members of historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
This website will be updated when hiring is completed in the spring semester of 2013.
Barbara Haas (On Sabbatical in Russia until Fall Semester 2013)
Associate Professor (M.F.A., University of California-Irvine)
Barbara Haas is a fiction writer and essayist with three dozen publications in such journals as Glimmer Train, The Hudson Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, The Antioch Review, Quarterly West, American Literary Review, The Georgia Review, Western Humanities Review and others.
She has received honors and awards for her writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and numerous Arts Council grants. She was a Fellow at Breadloaf. Story Line Press published her collection of stories, When California was an Island. Her M.F.A. is from California-Irvine.
Her nonfiction analyzes the Des Moines Lobe, the last of the Quaternary Period glaciers that marked Iowa's time under-ice, and examines post-glacial hydrological issues. Essays like this provide readers with scientific facts, raw data, empirical analysis and quantitative information--and also give them a narrative context through which to understand the human story inherent in the numbers.
Haas probes the complexities of h2o in her nonfiction through the plot-line of its own hydrological cycle: solid, liquid water, vapor. Phase-change isn't always cataclysmic--but it was in 2011 when the Missouri River watershed saw ice go to water so forcefully that the entire Lewis & Clark expedition area got swamped. Her essay about it appears in the Spring 2013 issue of Fjords Review.
Haas portrays Iowa as "not quite West enough"in her essay "Cannabis, Canoes, Canning Supplies," New Madrid Review, Summer 2013, and she examines various sacred cows of the state, including the Iowa 80 Truck Stop, the poem "Iowa Child" and The Flatness.
In the Summer 2013 issue of Rock & Sling, "Whipping Up a Feast in the House of Grief" is a memoir-hybrid that allows Haas to steer the Big Bus of metaphor along a circuitous route that includes cross country skiing, new love, Emily Dickinson's poems about Death and mourning.
Haas works with digital essays and nonfiction essays for-display on handheld devices and through social media. Composed of new media, these visual essays are a mash-up of the lyrical and the literary and force a collision between Nonfiction, The Text and Nonfiction, The Spectacle. Check out her work from Russia: The Marvelous Moscow Metro.
Professor (M.L.A., Moorhead State University)
Debra Marquart is a professor of English in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University and an affiliated faculty member with the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program at University of Southern Maine. Ms. Marquart's work has appeared in numerous journals including the North American Review, Three Penny Review, New Letters, River City, Crab Orchard Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, The Sun Magazine, Southern Poetry Review, and Witness. A performance poet, Marquart is the author of two poetry collections: Everything’s a Verb (New Rivers Press, 1995) and From Sweetness (Pearl Editions, 2002).
In the 1970s and ‘80s, Marquart was a touring road musician with rock and heavy metal bands. Her collection of short stories, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories(New Rivers Press, 2001) draws from her experiences as a female road musician. Marquart continues to perform with a jazz-poetry rhythm & blues project, The Bone People, with whom she released two CDs: Orange Parade (acoustic rock); and A Regular Dervish (jazz-poetry).
Marquart’s work has received numerous awards and commendations, including a 2008 Prose Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, the John Guyon Nonfiction Award (Crab Orchard Review), the Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, The Headwater’s Prize from New Rivers Press, the Minnesota Voices Award, the Pearl Poetry Award (Pearl Editions), and the Shelby Foote Prize for the Essay from the Faulkner Society.
Marquart’s memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere received the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award, the "Elle Lettres" Award from Elle Magazine, and a New York Times “Editors’ Choice” commendation. Marquart is currently at work on three books: a novel set in Greece titled Among the Ruins; a roots-travel memoir about her family’s migrations through Ukraine, Russia and Siberia, titled Somewhere Else This Time Tomorrow: On Geographical Flight & Cultural Amnesia; and a poetry collection, titled Small Buried Things (forthcoming from New Rivers Press).
Associate Professor (Ph.D., University of Utah)
Steve Pett is the author of two books, Pulpit of Bones (William Morrow), poetry, and Sirens (Vintage), a novel. His stories and poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Quarterly West, Prairie Schooner, and Fiction Network as well as nominated for a Pushcart Prize and listed on the Honor Roll in the Best American Short Stories.
Steve recently taught for two years at the Native American Preparatory School in New Mexico where he was twice picked by students as Teacher of the Year. He received his MA from Hollins College and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Steve Pett is the managing editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment.
Distinguished Professor (M.F.A., University of Iowa)
In 2009, Governor Chet Culver appointed Mary Swander the Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa. Her most recent work is a book of poetry, The Girls on the Roof (Turning Point/Word Tech, 2009), a Mississippi River flood narrative. With the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Swander is touring a performance piece of The Girls for the stage. Swander is also touring throughout the country her play Farmscape, a docudrama capturing the changing rural environment. Swander wrote the play in collaboration with her English 557 class in the fall of 2007. Swander is the co-founder of Agarts, a national group designed to explore the intersection of the arts and agriculture, and is developing a website, The Iowa Literary Community, where anyone with an Iowa connection can post poetry and other pieces of writing.
Swander’s memoir, The Desert Pilgrim (Viking, 2003, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), has just been re-issued by Ice Cube Press as has the memoir, Out of this World (Viking, 1995), by the U. of Iowa Press. Swander is the author of three additional books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House (Alfred Knopf, 1994), Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf, 1986), and Succession (University of Georgia Press, 1979), as well as a book of literary interviews, Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, University of Iowa Press, 1990). She has three edited collections, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards such as The Whiting Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and two Ingram Merrill Awards.
Assistant Professor (M.F.A., University of Alabama)
David Zimmerman attended Emerson College for film studies and then went on to earn an MFA in creative writing at the University of Alabama. He has worked as a publicist at St. Martin’s Press in NYC and taught writing at Georgia Southern University, Dilla University College in Ethiopia, South College in Savannah and the University of Wisconsin, where he was also a fiction fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. His books include a novella, Socket, published by Anvil Press, and two novels published by Soho Press--The Sandbox, published in 2010, and Caring is Creepy, published in 2012.
The MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment also maintains affiliations with the following authors and environmentalists with whom our students have opportunities to work.
Author and environmentalist, Rick Bass has published and edited over 25 books, including works of nonfiction, nature writing, essay collections, short story collections, novellas, and novels. Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of a geologist. He received a B.S. in geology at Utah State University in 1979. Bass started writing short stories on his lunch breaks while working as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1987, he moved with his wife, the artist Elizabeth Hughes, to the remote Yaak Valley near Troy, Montana where he has since worked to protect Glacier National Park and other wilderness areas from development and logging interests.
The recipient of grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Rick Bass has received an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and his fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories as well as numerous journals and magazines. His nonfiction has been included in Best American Travel Writing and Best Spiritual Writing. He has served as a member of the Yaak Valley Forest Council and the Round River Conservation Studies Board. His papers are held at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University and at Texas State University—San Marcos. For more information.