joshua marie wilkinson
As my students will attest, I love to teach.
I earned a BA in Secondary Education, an MFA in Creative Writing, an MA in Film Studies, and a PhD in English. I've taught kids, college students, and graduate-level creative writers and professionals for more than twenty years. I’m currently on the English Faculty at Seattle University and I often teach at Hugo House in Seattle.
As a professor at Loyola University Chicago, I won the departmental teaching award the very first year I was eligible for it. At the University of Arizona, where I taught in a top-10 MFA program for eight years, I was honored with the College of Humanities Distinguished Teaching Award. I absolutely love to work with writers, and I even put together a book on it called Poets on Teaching. This summer, I've been invited to Rhodes University in South Africa as their Andrew Mellon visiting scholar-in-residence to help design and implement the first PhD program focusing on the teaching of creative writing in the world.
My former students have been Stegner Fellows, National Book Award honorees, and one was even a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Several of them have received full scholarships to the Iowa Writers' Workshop among many other prestigious MFA programs. At least eight of my students have published books. Dozens have gone on to publish in national magazines.
Perhaps most importantly: I've helped many writers to get their books written.
I am the author of eight books; the editor of five anthologies of prose and poetry; and my work has appeared in over two-hundred journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Tin House, The Believer, and Pen America. With Solan Jensen I directed a tour documentary about the band Califone, and with Lisa Wells I run Letter Machine Editions (a National Book Award Finalist) as well as The Volta (winner of the Pushcart Prize).
I’m glad to be back in my hometown of Seattle!
Genre specialties: Fiction, Screenwriting, Poetry.
Usually a writing problem can be solved within the text, but sometimes our blocks have other origins…
As a teacher and writing coach my goals are to to create contexts for discovery and creative problem-solving, to deliver useful writing tools and strategies free of dogma or prescription, and to help artists cultivate their own practice and authority.
I’ve taught poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa, The University of Arizona, Yale-NUS College in Singapore (where I was an Emerging Writer in Residence), and in my own living room.
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I received an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, where I trained, observed, and evaluated new teachers in my post-graduate year. Before moving to Iowa, I taught theater and wilderness survival in the Portland area for more than a decade, and I have extensive experience working with groups and individuals using awareness-building exercises (to build observational capacity), Viola Spolin’s Improvisational method (to release innate creative genius), and systemic constellation (to uncover hidden dynamics and shift stagnant problems).
I believe all human beings are creative, but that great writing takes time and focused effort. I love to help people move through blocks and come into closer contact with their inner lives and creative abilities.
My writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Believer, The Iowa Review, Orion Magazine, and many other places. My debut collection, The Fix (2018), was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the Iowa Poetry Prize, and received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. A book of literary nonfiction is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
I’m currently teaching a class on the use of persona at Seattle’s Hugo House.
Genre specialties: Literary Nonfiction, Memoir, Poetry.