Heather Harpham

Undergraduate Discipline


BA, World College West. MA, MFA, New York University. Author of the memoir Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After, selected for Reese Witherspoon Bookclub (April, 2017). Fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in The Guardian, Slate, Parents, MORE Magazine, Water~Stone Review and Red Magazine (UK) as well as the anthology, Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field. Writing also includes six solo plays, produced throughout US and internationally in the Kathmandu International Theater Festival of Nepal and Notafe Festival of Estonia. Recipient of grants from the Brenda Ueland Prose Prize, the Marin Arts Council Independent Artist Grant, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women. SLC 2014–

Graduate Courses

MFA Writing 2020-2021

Exteriors, Interiors: Creative Nonfiction as a Two-Step Dance


An active workshop (we’ll write together every session) designed to grow the writer’s capacity to animate inner and outer worlds with equal power. This dual-perspective dance requires, in turn, both nuance and bravado. How can we draw readers’ attention to what we most want them to see externally, without breaking faith with the inner world? Conversely, can phenomena as subtle and “intangible” as consciousness leap across the page with such force that a reader feels them physically? We will think collectively about how (and when and if) to tunnel in or zoom out, psychically and environmentally. The aim is for each writer to find freedom in toggling between inner/outer orientations.

We’ll also read writers who refuse to toggle, or who toggle minimally, and still make it work. Examples may include Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking; Souad Mekhennet’s I Was Told to Come Alone; Elizabeth Alexander’s The Light of the World; Maya Angelou’s Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry Like Christmas; Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: and selections from Philp Pullman’s Daemon Voices.