I hold a BA in English/Creative Writing from Knox College and a MFA in Creative Writing, with a focus on poetry, from Hamline University. My first collection of poems was published in 2015, my second collection is currently under review, and I am working on book number three. I have published widely in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. You can view more of my publications on my professional website: https://ralphpennel.com.
I have been teaching in a variety of capacities for a variety of academic/educational institutions for the past 16 years and have taught a wide variety of literature courses (including World Literature, Introduction to Literature, Postmodern Literature, etc.) and creative writing courses to students of all ability levels. I have taught both genre specific creative writing courses in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and I have also taught survey courses in creative writing that covered multiple genres in the same course.
I enjoy teaching both creative writing and literature immensely, but there is definitely something uniquely satisfying about helping a student make a breakthrough with their creative writing, regardless of whether it is a poem or story. Being able to help students push themselves further than they thought they could go with their writing is one of the best parts about teaching.
As I mention in my statement of teaching philosophy, I believe wholeheartedly in student centered and experiential learning. I also believe that teaching focused on the exploration of the ideas embedded in important works of literature, and the experiences formed therein give students the chance to truly understand the value of a life committed to protecting and affirming the rights of everyone. Good writing and literature aid in and endeavor to shape good citizenry through mindful speculation and purposed introspection.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, hiking, and photography.
Undergraduate Degree: Knox College - Bachelor in Arts, English
Graduate Degree: Hamline University - Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing
Photography, reading, visiting art museums, hiking