Summer Creative Writing Institute Faculty
Professor Joshua Isard is a native of the Philadelphia area, and has been teaching creative writing, composition, and literature since 2004. Before coming to Arcadia, he held positions at Temple University and Drexel University.
He completed his undergraduate studies at Temple University, and studied creative writing at the University of Edinburgh with acclaimed writers Alan Jamieson and Dilys Rose. Professor Isard later earned a master’s degree in modern literature from University College London.
Prof. Isard is currently the Director of Arcadia’s M.F.A. program in Creative Writing. His fiction has recently appeared in Storychord, Northwind Magazine, Inscribed, The Broadkill Review, and Press 1. He has also worked with and written for several publications, including The American Poetry Review, and Philadelphia Weekly.
His first novel, Conquistador
of the Useless, was published in 2013 by Cinco Puntos Press.
Professor Tracey Levine grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and has been teaching creative writing, composition, literature, and film courses since 2006. She currently teaches at Arcadia, Bucks County Community College and at Community College of Philadelphia, and has taught at Syracuse University. She has also been active at Bucks County Community College in creating and facilitating a student-run book club.
Prof. Levine earned a B.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of the Arts, an M.A. in English from Arcadia University, and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Syracuse University where she was on fellowship. She has worked at WHYY on several documentary projects, and her creative writing work has appeared in Verbal Seduction, Metropolis VoxPop, and the Philadelphia Citypaper. She was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest in 2010, and was also involved in the Living Writer’s Reading Series at Syracuse University, and is currently working on a collection of short fiction.
Professor Gretchen Haertsch has taught graduate and undergraduate writing and literature classes at Arcadia University since 2000. Her advanced writing classes include Magazine Writing and Writing for Children. She has taught a children’s literature course for the Honors Program and a spring 2012 course in classic Scottish children’s literature that culminates with a week in Scotland. She also mentors students in middle grade and young adult novel writing and research.
A freelance writer for more than 25 years, her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and juvenile textbooks. Her publishing credits include such diverse publications as People, Places, Plants Magazine, Garden Borders, Strength and Health, and Early American Life, as well as various newspapers. Her juvenile writing credits include creative classroom materials for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, as well as fiction and nonfiction for magazines such as MetroKids, Hopscotch, The Friend, and Junior Trails.
She received a B.A. in journalism and advertising from Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in English from Arcadia University. She writes picture books, middle grade, and YA — both fiction and nonfiction — and is particularly interested in historical fiction.
Visiting Writer for 2015
Beth Kephart, our Visiting Writer for 2015, is
the author of nineteen books, publishing memoir, young adult literature, a corporate
fairytale, and an autobiography of a river called Flow: The Life and Times
of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. Handling the Truth: On the Writing
of Memoir (Gotham), based in part on Kephart’s teaching at Penn, won the
2013 Books for a Better Life Award (Motivational Category), was featured as a top
writing book by O Magazine, and was named a Best Writing Book by Poets
and Writers. Small Damages (Philomel), a young adult novel
that takes place in southern Spain, was named a 2013 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book
and a best book of the year by many publications. Going Over (Chronicle),
a young adult novel about the Berlin Wall, was the 2014 Parents’ Choice, Gold Medal
Winner/Historical Fiction, named a Booklist top historical novel
for youth, and was voted a 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime by Goodreads,
among other honors. Kephart’s 2014 Shebooks e-memoir, Nest. Flight. Sky.:
On Love and Loss One Wing at a Time, was recently selected for a print
anthology. Her 2013 middle grade historical novel, Dr. Radway’s Sarsaparilla
Resolvent (Temple University Press), was named a top book of the year by Kirkus.
Her books have been translated into sixteen languages.
is a National Book Award nominee and a winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the
Arts fiction grant, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Leeway grant, a Pew
Fellowships in the Arts grant, and the Speakeasy Poetry Prize, among other honors.
Her essays are frequently anthologized. She writes a monthly column on place and
memory for the Philadelphia Inquirer, is a frequent contributor
to the Chicago Tribune’s weekly books magazine, has given keynote
addresses on the state of literature and teaching, and has judged numerous literary
competitions for the National Book Awards and PEN, among others. A frequent workshop
leader and the strategic writing partner in a boutique communications firm, Kephart
maintains an award-winning literary/photography blog at: http://www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com/ .
Recent Visiting Writers
Mehta was the visiting writer for the 2014
Creative Writing Workshops. He received his MFA from Syracuse University, where
he was the Cornelia Carhart Ward Fellow. Portions of his Quarantine have appeared in New
Stories from the South, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, Epoch, Noon, and Fourteen Hills. Mehta lives with his
partner in Alfred, New York, and teaches at Alfred University.
Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. A steady stream of caffeine in all forms has resulted in eleven published novels, including RT Reviewers Choice-winning fantasy Eyes of Crow; as well as the Prism award-winning Wicked Game and Shade. In 2012, Jeri wrapped up both her adult and teen paranormal series. She’s currently writing a contemporary YA novel due out in Spring 2014. Jeri lives in the rolling hills of Maryland with her husband and two cats. When not writing, she can be found, well, thinking about writing, or on Twitter.
Justin Kramon is
the award-winning author of the novel Finny (Random House 2010),
and The Preservationist (Pegasus 2013). A graduate of the Iowa Writers'
Workshop, he has published stories in Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, Boulevard, Fence, TriQuarterly, and others. He has
received honors from the Michener-Copernicus Society of America, Best American
Short Stories, the Hawthornden International Writers' Fellowship, and the
Bogliasco Foundation. He teaches at Gotham Writers' Workshop in New York City
and at the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. He lives in Philadelphia.
Paul Elwork was the visiting writer for the 2011 Creative Writing Institute. He has a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Temple University and a master's degree in English from Arcadia University. His stories have been published in various literary journals, including SmokeLong Quarterly, Philadelphia Stories, Word Riot, Quiet Feather, and Johnny America. His novel The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead came out from Amy Einhorn Books (Penguin Group) in March 2011. He lives in Philadelphia.
Dr. Richard Wertime was the visiting writer for the 2010 Creative Writing Institute. He has taught English since 1968, and
is now a full Professor and Director of Arcadia’s Graduate program,
specializing in English Literature of the Renaissance, the Restoration, and the
Eighteenth Century, with a special emphasis on Renaissance drama. More
recently, he has focused on contemporary American fiction, with special
emphasis on creative writing. His memoir, Citadel on the Mountain,
was published in 2000, and won the 2001 James A. Michener Memorial Prize in