» 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's poetry collection Constituents of Matter won the Wick Poetry Prize and was published by Kent State University Press in 2007. Her chapbook Turns about a Point is available from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry also appears in literary journals such as Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, The Journal, Nimrod, and other literary journals and anthologies. She served as the Guest Poetry Editor for the second issue of Fifth Wednesday.

Leahy directs Tabula Poetica: Poetry at Chapman University, which hosts an annual Poetry Reading Series and other events and projects. With Chapman University librarian Douglas Dechow, she writes Lofty Ambitions Blog, which focuses on aviation, science, and collaboration.

Leahy publishes widely in the area of creative writing pedagogy and is currently researching how different fields define creativity. Her edited collection, Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom, launched the New Writing Viewpoints series from Multilingual Matters in 2005. Articles or chapters about teaching appear in Does the Writing Workshop Still Work? (2010), Stories of Mentoring (2008), Can It Really Be Taught? (2007), The Handbook of Creative Writing (2007), New Writing, Inside High Ed, American Book Review, and others. Leahy has collaborated with art historian Debora Rindge and with Douglas Dechow on scholarly articles.

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.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
“In It for the Long Haul,” Creative Composition: Inspiration and Techniques for Writing, Multilingual Matters, 2015
Essay Review of Annie’s Finch’s Spells, Fiction Writers Review (online), 20 April 2015
"Culture and Anarchy," Southern Humanities Review, Summer 2015 (poem; prize finalist)
"The Spider," Extracts, 26 May 2015 (poem)
"Negotiating with Migraine," Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, Spring 2015 (poem)
"The Word" and "The Role of the Atom," Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Issue 3 (Winter 2015) (poems)
Editor, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics
"Coming in 2015: Trailing Sexual Politics," The Weeklings, 23 June 2015
"Encountering Judy Chicago," The Rumpus, 8 March 2015
"The Give and Take of Grief," The Weeklings, 30 January 2015
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
“Text(ure), Modeling, Collage: Creative Writing and the Visual Arts” (with Claudine Jaenichen and Lia Halloran), New Writing, Volume 11 (2014), Number 1
"Awash," Nimrod, Fall/Winter 2014 (poem; prize finalist)
Editor, TAB: The Journal for Poetry & Poetics
Two poems (reprints), OC Register, 2014
The Huffington Post, ongoing contributor, 2012-present
“Teaching Intersections: Poetry for the Fiction Writer,” Fiction Writers Review, 25 August 2014
“My Sorta Spontaneous Vegas Wedding,” OZY, 21 November 2014
“Private Dwelling: Three Poets on Keeping (and Destroying Journals,” Poets & Writers, September/October 2014
Lofty Ambitions: Space, Science, Aviation, and writing as a Couple
“The End of an Era for the Town That Launched It” (photo essay with Douglas Dechow), Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2013
“Creative Writing Is Not a Fast Food Nation” (with Tim Mayers, Dianne Donnelley, Tom Hunly, and Stehanie Vanderslice), Inside Higher Ed, 5 July 2013.
“The Shrubbery Defense,” 2Paragraphs (online), 30 September 2013
“Yes and—No!,” Minerva Rising blog (online), 26 September 2013
Regular Blogger at The Huffington Post
Lofty Ambitions: Space, Science, Aviation, and writing as a Couple
“The Widow Goes to the Bookstore" (short story), Minerva Rising, Spring 2013
Editor, TAB: The Journal for Poetry & Poetics (see comments under Service)
“Flirting with Fugue" (poem), ROAR, Spring 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
“Online Presence,” Women and Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching, eds. Carol Smallwood, Colleen Harris, & Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, MacFarland & Company, 2012
“Undergraduate Creative Writing in the United States: Buying In Isn’t Selling Out,” Teaching Creative Writing, edited by Heather Beck, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012
“Half-Skull Days,” The Pinch, Spring 2012
“Should Mamas Let Their Babies Grow Up To Study Writing?” (with Dianne Donnelly, Tim Mayers, Dinty W. Moore, and Stephanie Vanderslice), The Huffington Post (online), May 5, 2012
“This and That" (poem), Zócalo Public Square (online), 2012
“Recidivism” (poem reprint) and “Anatomy Class” (poem reprint), Redux (online), December 2012
“Nostalgia for Small Airports” (with Douglas Dechow), Airplane Reading (online), May 2012
Regular Blogger at The Huffington Post, sometimes with co-authors
“Can Logical Fallacies Convince? Parody for the Dim-Witted Insomniacs,” Coldfront Magazine (online), February 2012
“Google Moon” (reprint), Post Road, Spring 2012
“How To Talk to a Wall” and “If I Could Use the Word Love in a Poem,” The Mayo Review, Spring 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
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
“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
“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
Recorded Talk about Digital History Scholarship, Making History Podcast and Huntington Library’s iTunesU, November 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
“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