Isaac Pressnell MFA
Division Chair, Associate Professor of English
"Poetry is my passion, followed closely by comics, backpacking, and movies, in no particular order. I don’t subscribe to a school of poetry, but I tend to write in a narrative mode. Recently, I’ve become enamored with experimental writing, and I just completed a collaborative book-length project with the poet, Maggie Glover, a poem from which appears in the anthology, Best American Experimental Writing 2015, published by Wesleyan University Press. Other poems of mine have appeared in American Literary Review, Carrier Pigeon, Cream City Review, Harpur Palate, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, Redivider, and elsewhere.
As much as I love writing poetry, teaching poetry (and creative writing in general) is one of the joys of my life. Engaging with student work is endlessly rewarding, and there are few things I enjoy more than watching a class turn into a close-knit community. What I love most about Graceland is its unique ability to create a strong sense of community from such a diverse group of people, and the writing classrooms here are no exception.
When school’s out, I spend my time traveling and backpacking, sometimes on my own and sometimes with buddies, such as our dean, Brian White, with whom I’ve spent many isolated days in the mountains of Utah. Perhaps my greatest summer achievement was hiking a 500-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail over the course of a month, starting in Vermont and finishing at the northern terminus of the trail at the top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
For anyone new to Lamoni, I recommend walking or riding the bike trail and tracking down some Amish donuts. Also, keep an eye out for a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee, if you’re into that sort of thing."