Barbara Haas


Office:345 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


Courses I am Teaching

English 304—Introduction to Fiction Writing
English 305—Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing
English 404—Advanced Fiction Workshop
English 405—Advanced Nonfiction Workshop
English 555—Graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop
English 557—Special Topics in Creative Writing


M.F.A., English, University of California-Irvine
B.A., English, University of Southern Indiana

Although I began life as a fiction writer (M.F.A., UC-Irvine) and will always nurture a special place in my heart for short story writing, I find that CNF essays afford me the best way to address topics related to nature and environment.

In my CNF essays I coax from raw facts and empirical data the kind of nonfiction narrative that is at once grounded in information but also emotionally evocative. Instead of discovering and advancing original science about an eco-issue, or conducting research on it, my CNF involves aggregating and synthesizing existing knowledge with historical data, cultural happenings and contemporary events (ecological hazards, natural disasters, food issues, climate change and the like) in order to probe mysteries, illustrate basic truths and tell a good story.

This approach allows me to search out odd pockets of meaning, forge creative links, make connections between disparate elements and ultimately examine the social and cultural implications of the human drama beneath the sheer weight of numbers, facts and information.

Like Losing Three Sardinias
"Sons of Gustaf"
"The Logo of Gyrsuf"

My purpose is to contribute to an ongoing global debate or conversation about nature, ecology and culture. I have traveled extensively in service of this aim. Post-Soviet environmental issues in Russia are an enduring passion.

Russia Is Not Like Us
Liquid Church
Crucible at Kronshtadt

Creating new media CNF essays for handheld devices allows me to indulge a guilty pleasure:

Haas Visual Essays

My short stories have appeared in such journals as Glimmer Train, The Antioch Review, Georgia Review, Quarterly West, Western Humanities Review and others. I am a repeat contributor of fiction to The North American Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and the Hudson Review. The U.S. government has endorsed my work in the form of a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.

My short story collection is When California Was an Island.

Recent Creative Nonfiction Publications

Haas, Barbara. “Beneficiaries,” a 2700 word essay in Five Points, August 2020

Haas, Barbara. “Like Losing Three Sardinias,” a 3200 word essay in The North American Review, August 2020

Haas, Barbara. “Alone in the Mist with Tchaikovsky,” a 2800 word essay in Upstreet, vol. 13, August 2020

Haas, Barbara. “Liquid History,” a 2800 word essay in World Literature Today, August 2020

Haas, Barbara. “A Ditchable Weight,” a 3000 word essay in Sou’wester, June 2020

Haas, Barbara. “Museumification,” a 2700 word essay in Lake Effect International, vol. 24, May 2020

Haas, Barbara. “Return to Scale,” a 2600 word text & photo essay, January 2020

Haas, Barbara. “Does Paris Even Really Exist?” a 2800 word short story in Sinister Wisdom, July 2019

Haas, Barbara. “Remembering Not to Forget,” a 3100 word essay in The MacGuffin, Spring 2019

Haas, Barbara. “We’re All in This Together,” a 3300 word essay in Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2019

“Remembering Not to Forget,” The MacGuffin, Winter 2018

“Like a Total Waste of Moscow,” Hotel Amerika, Fall 2018

“A Moscow That Knows No Rest,” Chariton Review, Summer 2018

“History’s Paperweight,” Able Muse, Summer 2018

“Wrestling with Russia,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Summer 2018

“Run Up to October,” Aji Magazine, Spring 2018

“Punk Prayer,” Cutbank Literary Online, January 2018

“Social Zakuski,” Hotel Amerika, Fall 2017

“A Pretender to Immortality”, The Swamp Literary Magazine, Summer 2017

“Under Soviet Skies,” Mortar Magazine online, Summer 2017

“The Road of Life,” Isthmus Review, Winter 2016

“Intentional Prairie,” The Wapsipinicon Almanac, Winter 2016

Haas, Barbara. “Is There Ever a Breath You Draw That Doesn’t Have Leningrad in It?” The Chariton Review, 2016.

Haas, Barbara. “Resurrection Kaleidoscope.” Able Muse, 2016.

Haas, Barbara. “Russia Is Not Like Us.” The MacGuffin, 2016.

Haas, Barbara. “Women Who Disappear.” The Delmarva Review, December 2015.

Haas, Barbara. “Crucible at Kronshtadt.” Able Muse, Dec. 2014.

Haas, Barbara. “Liquid Church.” The North American Review, Spring 2014.

Haas, Barbara. “Planet of No Guarantees.” Pisgah Review, Spring 2014.

Haas, Barbara. “Translation.” South Dakota Review, Winter 2013.

Haas, Barbara. “Whipping Up a Feast in the House of Grief.” Confrontation, Winter 2013

Haas, Barbara. “The Altar of Community.” The Wapsipinicon Almanac, Winter 2013.

Haas, Barbara. “Why This Blood and Not That?” Sinister Wisdom, Winter 2013.

Haas, Barbara. “Cannabis, Canoes, Canning Supplies.” The New Madrid Review, Summer 2013.

Haas, Barbara. “This Wilderness We Can’t Contain.” Fjords Review, Spring 2013.

Haas, Barbara. “Sex on Two Wheels.” Seneca Review, Winter 2012.

Haas, Barbara. “Fake Lake.” The Wapsipinicon Almanac, Winter 2011.

Haas, Barbara. “Hiddenscape.” Southern Indiana Review, Autumn 2010.