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Zach FinchDr. Zack Finch

Associate Professor, English/Communications


About Me

I came to MCLA because I have a passion for teaching and believe in the promise of the public liberal arts. Whether I'm leading a creative writing class or teaching a literary / cultural studies course, I encourage my students to risk failure, ask hard questions, be vulnerable, be ambitious, exceed their former expectations of themselves, and challenge each other on a daily basis, so that we can grow in unpredictable directions as writers, thinkers, neighbors and friends. 

Special Projects/Activities

Outside of teaching, I organize the English / Communications Department's Creative Writers-in-Residence series and serve as the faculty adviser to Spires (the campus literary magazine). Currently, I serve as a Hardman co-scholar for the department, as co-coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum faculty working group, and as a faculty member in the First Year Experience Program. I also participate on the Honors Advisory Board and on the Undergraduate Research Conference Board. 

Creative Writing

My poems and essays on poetry have been published in magazines and journals including American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Brilliant Corners, Columbia Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Intervalles, Jacket2, Kadar Koli, Poetry, P-queue, Radical Society, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Shankpainter, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tin House, 88: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry.

I enjoy working collaboratively, especially with visual artists: I wrote Chiasmus in 2013 with painter Enrico Riley (Fourth and Verse Press) as well as Ten Ounces in 2015 with artist Melanie Mowinski, (currently part of a traveling exhibition of artist's books sponsored by the Guild Workers of America).

I have received a John N. Serio Award from the The Wallace Stevens Society, a Presidential Fellowship from SUNY Buffalo, a Bread Loaf Writer's Conference Scholarship, a Poetry Fellowship from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a grant from the Vermont Studio Center.


My scholarly research interests include modernist, late modernist and contemporary American poetry, hybrid and experimental literature, literary and critical theory, and jazz studies. Selected publications include:

“‘Passion for the Particular’: Marianne Moore, Henry James, Beatrix Potter and the Refuge of Close Reading," in 21st Century Moore: Essays from a Critical Renaissance, Eds. Elizabeth Gregory and Stacy Hubbard (forthcoming).

“Caliban’s Gait: The Postcolonial ‘Progress’ of American Exploratory Poetics in William Carlos Williams’ The Great American Novel” in Anglophonia: French Journal of English Studies, Issue 35, Spring 2014.

“‘He that of repetition is most master’: Wallace Stevens and the Poetics of Mannerism” in The Wallace Stevens Journal, 36.2, fall 2012.

“The Ethics of Postbellum Melancholy in the Poetry of Sarah Piatt,” in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, 58.3, fall 2012.  Reprinted in Sentimentalism in Nineteenth-Century America: Literary and Cultural Practices, ed. Mary De Jong.  Farleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2013.

“‘I am / of that people the grass / blades touch’: Walt Whitman and the Aesthetics of Curiosity in George Oppen’s Critique of Violence.” Jacket 36, late 2008.

Contact Information

Office: Mark Hopkins, 109A




Ph.D. in English, SUNY Buffalo. 2012

M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Warren Wilson College, 2003

B.A. with Honors, Dartmouth College, 1995


Courses Taught

ENGL 150: College Writing II

CCCA 209: Contemporary American Poetry & The Times

ENGL 230:  Power of Words

ENGL 301: Creative Writing Poetry

ENGL 341: Hybrid Poetics

ENGL 410: Poetics of Travel Writing

ENGL  430: Advanced  Poetry

ENGL 441: Signifying Jazz: Representations in Film, Literature, Music and Art