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Profile: Laura Kasischke

Title: Allan Seager Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature
M.F.A., University of Michigan  1987

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4184AH & B552 EQ







LAURA KASISCHKE has published eight collections of poetry and eight novels. Her novels include Suspicious River (1996), White Bird in a Blizzard (1999), and The Life Before Her Eyes (2002). They have been translated widely, and adapted for film.  She has been the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle 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, and the Beatrice Hawley Award. Her other collections of poetry include Space, in Chains, Lilies, Without, Gardening in the Dark, Wild Brides, Housekeeping in a Dream , Fire and Flower and What It Wasn't . Her poems and stories have been published in Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic , The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The Iowa Review and elsewhere.

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
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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.


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 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

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