U-M Department of English
U-M English Home


Profile: Laura Kasischke

Title: Hopwood Director, Allan Seager Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing
M.F.A., University of Michigan  1987

Contact Info


Hopwood Room & B552 EQ








» Launch

LAURA KASISCHKE has published nine collections of poetry and nine novels. Her work has been translated widely.  She has been the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, the Rilke Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, several Pushcart Prizes, the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, the Beatrice Hawley Award, and numerous others. 

Laura Kasischke on the Workshop

My workshop emphasizes the discussion of issues related to writing;  specifically, these issues will arise in response to the new work written and submitted by workshop members:

I state my definition in this round-about way because I'd like to emphasize that my approach to the workshop privileges the discussion of the elements, techniques, and troubles of writing over the goal of setting out to fix a specific piece of writing.  

In the rest of your writing life, you will learn primarily through struggle with your own work, alone.  In this brief period of your writing life, you'll learn, too, by struggling with the work of your peers.  It can be time- consuming, to be sure, but responding to the new work of others can be as great an act of creativity as writing one's own new work.  And, it's a great short-cut to learning how to read your own work objectively. With some conscientious effort, the graduate writing workshop becomes not only a place to practice and improve our craft, but a true community of writers.  We need to bring all the energy we can to each workshop, and an ambitious generosity.  There's no such thing as too much passion when it comes to making art or responding to it.  My goal for the workshop is that it will, eventually, become a sustaining memory of a place where serious insight and support were generated and shared--a place and time to which you can return again and again in your mind during the more solitary days of writing ahead.

A sample from Laura Kasischke's work:

From Dance and Disappear, "A Kitchen Song"
From The Life Before Her Eyes
Departmental Areas of Study have been established to allow a visitor to quickly find members of our faculty who share a particular area of study. Click on any of the links below to find other faculty members who have noted their interest in the same areas or click on the link above to browse all faculty by area of study.

Research Interests

Primary Interests

The writing of poetry; the writing of fiction; the teaching of creative writing.

Secondary Interests

Contemporary poetics; the contemporary novel; the Black Mountain Poets; the literature of the Midwest.


The Infinitesimals (poetry collection, Copper Canyon, 2014), Mind of Winter (Harpers, 2014), Space, in Chains (poetry collection, Copper Canyon, 2011);  Lilies Without (poetry collection, Ausable Press, 2007); The Raising (novel, Harpers, 2011);  In a Perfect World (novel, Harpers, 2009); Be Mine (novel, Harcourt, 2007); Boy Heaven (novel for young adults, HarperCollins, 2006); Gardening in the Dark (poetry collection, Ausable Press, 2004); The Life Before Her Eyes, (novel, Harcourt, 2002); Dance and Disappear, (poetry collection, University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); What It Wasn't, (poetry collection, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2001); Fire & Flower, (poetry collection, Alice James Books, 1999); White Bird in a Blizzard, (novel, Hyperion, 1998); Suspicious River, (novel, Houghton Mifflin, 1996); Housekeeping in a Dream, (poetry collection, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1995); Wild Brides, (poetry collection, New York University Press, 1991). Poetry published in Harper's, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Pushcart anthologies. Recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award (2012), a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Rilke Award for Poetry, The Bess Hokin Award from Poetry Magazine, the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers (NYU Press), Beatrice Hawley Award, Juniper Award (Univ. of Massachusetts Press), Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award (Poetry Society of America).
  • The Infinitesimals
  • If a Stranger Approaches You
  • Ghost Writers: Us Haunting Them, Contemporary Michigan Literature
  • The Raising
  • Space, in Chains
  • Eden Springs
  • In a Perfect World
  • Feathered
  • Be Mine
  • Boy Heaven

Dept. of English Language and Literature

home mission statement sitemap contact

U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on iTunes U
U-M English on YouTube

435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Phone: (734) 764-6330 Fax: (734) 763-3128