Dr. Anna Leahy

Dr. Anna Leahy

Professor, Director, MFA in Creative Writing
Director of Tabula Poetica
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of English
Office Location: Smith Hall 204D
Phone: (714) 628-7389
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
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’s latest books are the poetry collections What Happened Was: and Aperture and the nonfiction book Tumor. She is also the co-author of Generation Space and Conversing With Cancer. Her essays have won top prizes from the Mississippi Review, Los Angeles Review, Ninth Letter, and Dogwood. She directs the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chapman University, where she edits the international Tab Journal. She also founded and co-directs the Health Humanities Interdisciplinary Minor. She earned her PhD from Ohio University and her MFA from the University of Maryland and has been a fellow at MacDowell, the American Library in Paris, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. See more at https://amleahy.com and follow @AMLeahy on Twitter.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Gloss (poetry chapbook), Winner of the Midwest Chapbook Prize, The Laurel Review and GreenTower Press, 2023
"In Working Order, or Proxemics and the Poetry Book" (reprint), Demystifying the Manuscript, Two Sylvias Press, 2023
"midbrain," A Body You Can Talk To: An Anthology of Contemporary Disability, Sundress Publications, 2023
Review of Life on Delay by John Hendrickson, The Washington Post, 20 January 2023
"Reckless Memory," River Teeth, 12 June 2023
"Intrinsic Spin: A Story of Vertigo," CRAFT Literary, February 2023
"Visual Poetry Rethinks the Page," Dispatches, Poetry International, 2023
"Orthogonals" and "To Make a Watercolor Heart," Waxwing, Fall 2023
"Brackish," Poetry London, Summer 2023
"I whisper my name to a hummingbird," Prairie Schooner, Summer 2023
"Thorax: this arrhythmia," Anapaca Review, June 2023
"Girl Who Cries Wolf" and "Hindsight" (reprint), Science Write Now, Spring 2023
Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong, The Washington Post, 9 September 2022
“Purgatory : Pandemic” (reprint), Lumiere Review, March 2022
“Let’s Say There’s a Place" (with audio), Passengers Journal, March 2022
“Diurnal Heart,” The Stirring, July 2022
What Happened Was (poetry chapbook), Small Harbor Publishing, 2021
“The (Selfish) Power of Book Reviews: Reading, Citizenship, and Platform,” Creative Writing Scholars on the Publishing Trade: Practice, Praxis, Print, edited by Marshall Moore and Sam Meekings, Routledge, 2021
“Pandemic Poetry, Public Policy, and Racial Imaginations,” Spoon River Poetry Review, Summer 2021
“Poetry of the Incomprehensible (on the work of Anna Swir),” Mentor & Muse, August 2021
“Half-Skull Days” (reprint), Eunoia Review, 21 February 2021
“If We’re Here Now: Toward the Lyric Essay,” Grist Journal, 9 March 2021
“Ordinary Pandemonium: A Sory of Noise,” Mississippi Review, Summer 2021
“What Happened Was: we worked alone together,” Whale Road Review, Spring 2021
“Solve for x,” SWWIM, 5 March 2021
“Blood Planet” and “Hindsight (not even eating),” Bennington Review, Summer 2021
“States of Matter,” Scientific American, March 2021
Interview about Tab Journal, Lit Mag News Roundup with Becky Tuch, YouTube, 19 October 2021
Interview, Kenyon Review blog, 13 July 2021
“None of That” (reprint), Thought for Food (anthology), South Broadway Ghost Society (to raise funds for Denver Food Rescue), 2020
“Dispatch from a Pandemic: Orange, California,” Another Chicago Magazine, 13 May 2020
“How To Track Time,” District Lit, May 2020
“A Brief Encyclopedia of My Mother’s Cancer,” Los Angeles Review, Spring 2020 (in print), Fall 2020 (online); Award in Creative Nonfiction
“The Punctuation of Full Expression,” Waxwing, Summer 2020
“midbrain,” The Maynard, Fall 2020
“Purgatory : Pandemic,” Atlanta Review, Fall/Winter 2020
“World of Glass,” Poetry, December 2020
"What Happens When Literary Events Move Online? A Look at the Book World’s New Digital Reality" (with Sam Risak & Tryphena Yeboah), Literary Hub, 15 October 2021
“30 Years of the ADA: Measuring Progress and Calling for Change, The Washington Post, 24 July 2020
“From the Word Go,” The Eloquent Poem (anthology), Persea Books, 2019
“Hair Art,” After the Art, Spring 2019
“An Environment Designed to Suit Everyone Is Better for All,” Aeon, 2 April 2019
“Proof (2)” (with audio), South Florida Poetry Journal (online), February 2018
“Containing the Hidden Lives of Ordinary Things: A Conversation with Seven Authors” (with Object Lessons authors), Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Spring 2018
“Alive and Writing: What Recent Memoirs Reveal about Illness and the State of Health Care,” Entropy, 2 August 2018
“What Does It Mean to Live with a Body That Can’t Be Fixed,” Buzzfeed, 28 September 2018
“Proof (1),” Willawaw Journal (online), Spring 2018
Interview, Medical Monday, Public Radio Tulsa, 3 December 2018
Interview, WGN Midday News (television), 18 September 2018
Aperture (full-length poetry collection), Shearsman Press, 2017
Generation Space (co-authored with Douglas R. Dechow), Stillhouse Press, 2017
Tumor, Object Lessons series, Bloomsbury, 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
“My Mother’s Illusions,” Coast Magazine, November 2017 | reprint online at OC Register
“What To Read When It’ds Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” The Rumpus, 27 October 2017
“On Writing the (Short) Nonfiction Book: A Conversation” (with Object Lessons authors), Poets & Writers, 7 September 2017
“Signs of Dehyrdation,” SWWIM (online), 15 December 2017
“The world is wind. The world is fire.” Poets Reading the News (online), 12 December 2017
“Proof (3),” Zocalo Public Square (online), 20 January 2017
Sharp Miracles (poetry chapbook), Blue Lyra Press, 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
“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
“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
“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
“Strange Attraction: John Wayne and Me,” The Southern Review, Americana Issue, Spring 2011
“Freedom Without Walls: One Model for Interdisciplinarity on Campus” (with K. Gallagher and D. Dechow), Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, Fall 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