Gretchen Legler
Professor of Creative Writing

Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.A., University of Minnesota
B.A., Macalester College


In the Classroom: Engaging Students — Setting High Academic Expectations

In the classroom, Professor Legler encourages her students to build relationships and collaborations with students from other disciplines. Her First-Year English composition course has been connected to a first-year history class where the texts and assignments for composition are linked to what the students are learning in history. She believes this interdisciplinary approach creates an effective and supportive learning community both inside her classroom and out.

Outside the Classroom: Innovation and Excitement — Putting Theory into Practice

Professor Legler regularly exposes her First-Year students to art, culture, and history by taking them on field trips to places such as the Boston Museum of Modern Art, The Lowell Textile Mills Historic Site in Massachusetts, and a Bath, Maine shipyard featuring historic replicas of early pre-colonial ships. The students’ experiences are reflected in their classroom writing assignments.

Students in Professor Legler’s advanced non-fiction workshop work on a radio and video essay project where they produce their own original work ranging from the personal to the documentary. Using sophisticated technology to enhance their artistry, the students write, direct, record, and edit their essays which, she believes, are more than just working with words, but with images, sounds and raw emotion.

Respected in the Field — Noteworthy Accomplishments

Essays from her acclaimed book, All the Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman’s Notebook, have been reprinted in numerous anthologies and Gretchen Legler has recently completed a book of personal nonfiction, On the Ice, about her experience living in Antarctica.

The recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, Gretchen Legler has published essays, stories, and reviews in Georgia Review, Indiana Review, Orion, Women’s Review of Books, and other magazines.

A True Academic — Areas of Special Interest

Gretchen Legler is particularly interested in eco-criticism, which refers to a school of literary criticism that examines textual representations of landscape and human interactions with place, space, and identity. She describes it as a process of theorizing about a person’s relationship to the natural world and the role that the environment plays in the imagination of a cultural community.

Outside of Academia — Personal Interests and Activities

Gretchen Legler is currently developing an 80-acre farmstead, complete with goats and chickens. She enjoys chopping wood, tapping maple trees and cultivating her own organic garden.