» Dr. Anna Leahy
Professor, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA)

Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Department of English
Dr. Anna Leahy
Director of Tabula Poetica
Office Location:
Wilkinson Hall 225
Office Hours:
Thu. 1:45-3:45 p.m.
(714) 628-7389
Knox College, Bachelor of Arts
Iowa State University, Master of Arts
University of Maryland College Park, Master of Fine Arts
Ohio University, Ph.D.
Video Profile

Anna Leahy is the author of the nonfiction book Tumor and the poetry collections Aperture and Constituents of Matter and the co-author of Generation Space: A Love Story and Conversing with Cancer. Her essays have appeared at The Atlantic, Pop Sugar, The Southern Review, The Pinch, and elsewhere and won the top awards from Ninth Letter and Dogwood in 2016. She edited and co-wrote What We Talk about When We Talk about Creative Writing and Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom and publishes widely about creative writing pedagogy and the profession.

Leahy directs the MFA program at Chapman University, where she edits the international journal TAB and curates the Tabula Poetica reading series. Leahy earned her Ph.D. from Ohio University, her M.F.A. from the University of Maryland, and her M.A. from Iowa State University. She teaches creative writing courses.

See more at www.amleahy.com & follow @amleahy .


Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Aperture (full-length poetry collection), Shearsman Press, 2017
Generation Space (co-authored with Douglas R. Dechow), Stillhouse Press, 2017
Editor, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, 2013-present
Smart Retreats (with Douglas R. Dechow), Poets & Writers, March/April 2017
NASA Spinoffs at 50 (with Douglas R. Dechow), Parade, 7 April 2017
Writing Collaboration (with Douglas R. Dechow), LitHub, 7 April 2017
“How Carrie Fisher’s Space Adventures Helped Define My Generation,” Motto (Time.com), 6 January 2017
“Proof (3),” Zocalo Public Square (online), 20 January 2017
Sharp Miracles (poetry chapbook), Blue Lyra Press, 2016
What We Talk about When We Talk about Creative Writing, Multilingual Matters, 2016
“Beyond Graduation: Sustaining Yourself as a Writer,” Studying Creative Writing, edited by Stephanie Vanderslice, Creative Writing Studies/Frontinus, 2016
“Nostalgia for Small Airports” (with Douglas R. Dechow; reprint), Airplane Reading (anthology), 2016
“Marrying Absurd,” Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction, Ninth Letter, Fall/Winter 2016-2017
“Against Creative Writing Studies (and for Ish-ness),” Journal of Creative Writing Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2016
“How Museums Fought for Retired Space Shuttles” (with Douglas R. Dechow), The Atlantic, 11 July 2016
“Love Is Like a Rock,” Dunes Review, Spring 2017
“The Composed Soul,” special “Weird Love” feature, Barrelhouse, 11 February 2016
“Sweet Dreams Are Made of These,” Grand Prize in Literature, Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, Spring 2016
“In It for the Long Haul,” Creative Composition: Inspiration and Techniques for Writing, Multilingual Matters, 2015
"Culture and Anarchy," Finalist for Poetry Prize, Southern Humanities Review, Summer 2015
"The Word" and "The Role of the Atom," Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Issue 3 (Winter 2015) (poems)
"Encountering Judy Chicago," The Rumpus, 8 March 2015
"The Give and Take of Grief," The Weeklings, 30 January 2015; Notable, The Best American Essays 2016
Lofty Ambitions: Space Science, Aviation, and Writing as a Couple
“Concentration, Form, and Ways of Seeing” (with Douglas Dechow), Creative Writing in the Digital Age, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014
“Theories of Creativity and Creative Writing Pedagogy” (with Mary Cantrell and Mary Swander) The Handbook of Creative Writing, edited by Steven Earnshaw, Edinburgh University Press, 2014 (second edition, revised and updated)
“The Making of a Suburbanite,” Literary Orphans (online), January 2014
“Why I Write This, Now,” Writers on Writing series (online), Passages North, January 2014
"Awash," Finalist for Poetry Prize, Nimrod, Fall/Winter 2014
“My Sorta Spontaneous Vegas Wedding,” OZY, 21 November 2014
“Private Dwelling: Three Poets on Keeping (and Destroying Journals,” Poets & Writers, September/October 2014
Two poems (reprints), OC Register, 2014
“The Shrubbery Defense,” 2Paragraphs (online), 30 September 2013
“Yes and—No!,” Minerva Rising blog (online), 26 September 2013
“The Day of Fire and Light” (text and audio), Drunken Boat (online), Issue 17, 2013
“Undergraduate Creative Writing in the United States: Buying In Isn’t Selling Out,” Teaching Creative Writing, edited by Heather Beck, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
“The Excitement of Influence," Women and Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching, eds. Carol Smallwood, Colleen Harris, & Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, MacFarland & Company, 2012
“Half-Skull Days,” The Pinch, Spring 2012
“Nostalgia for Small Airports” (with Douglas Dechow), Airplane Reading (online), May 2012
“At the Sea Lion Pool,” City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, ed. Ryan Van Cleave, University of Iowa Press, 2012
“Moose, Looking” (reprint), Becoming, ed. Jill McCabe Johnson, University of Nebrasks Press, 2012
“On Sketching Pippa Passes the Loose Women (1855),” A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, eds. S. L. Brown and O. de la Paz, University of Akron Press, 2012
“This and That" (poem), Zócalo Public Square (online), 2012
“Recidivism” (poem reprint) and “Anatomy Class” (poem reprint), Redux (online), December 2012
Invited Responses to Thought Questions, Chapter 5, Teaching Creative Writing to Undergraduates, K. Ritter and S. Vanderslice, Fountainhead Press, 2011
Essay review of Christina Bruns’ Why Literature?, Marjorie Garber’s The Use and Abuse of Literature, David Orr’s Beautiful & Pointless, and Kevin Stein’s Poetry’s Afterlife, Fiction Writers Review (online), 5 September 2011
In the House by Lynn Kilpatrick, Connotation Press (online), August 2011
Or Consequence by Cynthia Hogue, American Book Review, May/June 2011
“Freedom Without Walls: One Model for Interdisciplinarity on Campus” (with K. Gallagher and D. Dechow), Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Fall 2011
“Natasha Trethewey’s ‘White Lies’,” The Explicator, Vol. 69, Issue 3, 2011
“Where Are We Going Next? A Conversation about Creative Writing Pedagogy” (with Cathy Day and Stephanie Vanderslice), Fiction Writers Review (online), February 10 & 11 (two parts), 2011
“A Zetabet of Creative Theory and Practice” (with Cathy Day and Stephanie Vanderslice), Toad Suck Review (formerly Exquisite Corpse), Transitional Issue (#1), Spring 2011
“Strange Attraction: John Wayne and Me,” The Southern Review, Americana Issue, Spring 2011
“The Boisjoly Collection” (with Douglas Dechow), Air & Space Magazine, August 2011
“Hail, Discovery” (with Douglas Dechow), Chapman Magazine, Spring 2011
“Curiouser and Curiouser,” Chandra Hoffman Blog, 12 January 2011
Five Questions for…, She Writes (online), 25 April 2011
“A Rational Choice Theory” and “An Experiment of Violence” (reprint), ArLiJo (online), Issue #46, 2011
“This and That,” “Panhandle,” and “The Nuclear Age,” Zócalo Public Square (online), 2011
“Hiroshima’s Secrets” (reprint), Don’t Blame the Ugly Mug: Ten Years of Two Idiots Peddling Poetry, 2011
“To find, to create, to remake,” commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Chapman University, printed in Chapman Magazine and other documents throughout 2011
“Where Are We Going Next? A Conversation about Creative Writing Pedagogy (Part 1)” (with Cathy Day and Stephanie Vanderslice), National Writing Project (online, pdf format), 2011, reprint
Recorded Talk about Digital History Scholarship, Making History Podcast and Huntington Library’s iTunesU, November 2011
“Writing in Isolation, Writing in Community,” Architecture Travel Writer Blog (online), 2 November 2011
“Middle-of-the-Night” and “And this is your husband.,” Country Dog Review (online), Fall/Winter 2011
“Teaching as a Creative Act: Why the Workshop Works in Creative Writing,” Does the Writing Workshop Still Work?, edited by Dianne Donnelly, Multilingual Matters, 2010
“Who Wants To Be a Nerd? Or How Cognitive Science Changed My Teaching,” New Writing: International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, Spring 2010
“Good Counsel: A Conversation about Poetry Writing, the Imagination, and Teaching” (with Larissa Szporluk), Mid-American Review, 30th Anniversary Issue 2010
“After Assassination,” Crab Orchard Review, Summer/Fall 2010
“Conversing with Saint Catherine,” Oberon, 2010
“At the Ore Dock,” Eclipse, Fall 2010
“On Nervous Breakdowns: Saint Dymphna,” Barn Owl Review, 2010
First Book Interview #28, The Projector is Ripping Your History, 1 September 2010
Interview, Omoiyari (online), 30 July 2010