TEACH WITH WHAT HAPPENED WAS:
What Happened Was: is a superb addition for classes in creative writing, poetry writing, literature, gender studies, and American history. While poetry students working toward cohesive manuscripts may be especially interested in What Happened Was: as a reference point, undergraduates in gender studies will recognize that the personal is political, and vice versa.
Overview of What Happened Was:
Written in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony in the Supreme Court confirmation hearing and steeped in the memory of Anita Hill’s testimony thirty years ago, What Happened Was: explores the cumulative effect of what women have been told is not that bad. The title series of What Happened Was: includes ten poems; each uses seven repetitions of “what happened was” to tell its story. The chapbook begins with the poet’s mother, who was told by the law school dean that she could not attend classes while pregnant. Other poems elucidate the poet’s own experiences of mismatched assumptions and sexual harassment in college and in the workplace, in the context of history and in the present moment. What Happened Was: speaks up and speaks back, “still teeming with syllables left to spill.”
If you’re teaching What Happened Was:, Anna Leahy will waive her fee for a virtual visit to your class, schedule permitting. Plus, she’ll tailor the visit to match your course’s focus with her expertise in creative writing, gender studies, literature, history, or science. She’s adept at working with graduate and undergraduate creative writing students, visiting courses from cancer biology and to first-year foundations, speaking with community groups of varying ages, and giving public readings. Even if you’re not teaching one of her books, she is happy to discuss a possible class visit, reading, or other event. Over the years, she’s taught formally at universities, community colleges, and correctional facilities as well as in informal learning environments. Use the Contact form to get in touch.
CREATIVE WRITING PEDAGOGY
Anna Leahy directs the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chapman University, where she edits TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics. Anna is available to teach workshops and visit classes.
Join Creative Writing Pedagogy on Facebook, founded and moderated by Anna Leahy and Stephanie Vanderslice. The group includes more than 5000 members.
Anna is a leader in creative writing pedagogy. Her book Power and Identity in the Creative Writing Classroom launched the New Writing Viewpoints series, and What We Talk about When We Talk about Creative Writing celebrates the series’ 10th anniversary.
She contributed chapters to many books about teaching and the profession.
- “‘It’s Such a Good Feeling’: Self-Esteem, the Growth Mindset, and Creative Writing” in Can Creative Writing Really Be Taught?
- “Concentration, Form, and Ways of Seeing” (with Douglas Dechow in Creative Writing in the Digital Age
- “Theories of Creativity and Creative Writing Pedagogy” (with with Mary Cantrell and Mary Swander) in The Handbook of Creative Writing
- “Undergraduate Creative Writing in the United States: Buying In Isn’t Selling Out” in Teaching Creative Writing
- “Teaching as a Creative Act: Why the Workshop Works in Creative Writing” in Does the Writing Workshop Still Work?
- “Wendy Bishop’s Legacy: A Tradition of Mentoring, a Call to Conversation” in Stories of Mentoring: Theory and Praxis
- “Creativity, Caring and the Easy A” inCan It Really Be Taught?
Anna’s articles about pedagogy and the profession also appear in places like The Huffington Post, Fiction Writers Review, Mid-American Review, and Inside Higher Ed.