The Writer’s Eye: How To See with the Tip of Your Pen
Center director and teacher Stacia M. Fleegal
Stacia M. Fleegal—poet, essayist, editor, blogger—is the author of two full-length and three chapbook poetry collections. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including North American Review, Fourth River, Best of the Net 2011, Barn Owl Review, Knockout, and Crab Creek Review, and she’s been nominated for a Pushcart prize three times. Her essays have appeared at Salon, Scary Mommy, Quaint Magazine, Delirious Hem, and Open Thought Vortex; and she’s published book reviews at Gently Read Lit, Poemeleon, and more. Stacia earned her MFA in Writing from Spalding University and was co-founder of Blood Lotus, serving as its managing editor and poetry co-editor for 10 years.
Stacia’s teaching philosophy is rooted in her work as an editor, where curating submissions coupled with participation in informal writing exchanges has shown her that writers of all levels are best served by a support system. Stacia wants to help aspiring writers trust their individual voices, focusing on the strengths of the work. She believes anyone who wants to write has something of value to communicate, and she doesn’t hold with “bad writing” versus “good writing,” only writing that communicates an intention more (or less) effectively. Above all else, Stacia wants to offer to her students her experience as a reader. She strives to develop a dynamic of inclusion, praise, compassion, focus, and a balance of listening and communicating, and welcomes students who want to think, read, learn, and share their work in a nurturing environment.
Stacia was drawn to the Center for Creative Writing because of its vision: we’re on a collective trip to wholeness in the Universe. She’s eager to help writers actualize their wholeness by uncovering their own creative potential, summarizing her viewpoint by saying, “Self-expression is both singular and collaborative, and always sacred.” When she isn’t teaching or directing the Center, Stacia works for the Peace & Conflict Studies department of a small, private liberal arts college and enjoys being outside, exploring the beautiful and historical terrain of her native central Pennsylvania. She loves hiking, camping, swimming, animals, music, books, yoga, collecting rocks and crystals, cooking, and watching her almost-five-year-old son learn about the world. Her online home base is her blog, anotherwritingmom.wordpress.com, and she tweets as @shapeshifter43. See a few of Stacia’s books to the right.
Stacia is a born teacher. She knows how to praise, how to identify a writer’s strengths, yet she also has an almost uncanny ability to see beneath the veneer of words to the solid wood of a writer’s intention. She helps the author bring that intention forward in a way that’s faithful to the individual’s voice and style. I’m delighted she’s teaching this course, which perfectly suits her giftedness. – Elizabeth Ayres