Marissa the Writer / Marissa the Professor

I got my Bachelors degree in Writing from Ithaca College, and then spent three years moving around the country trying to figure out what to do with it. I worked in communications and media relations for an environmental nonprofit. I worked in fundraising and development for an animal shelter. I worked as a freelance arts and culture reporter. I worked as a nanny. Then I started working as a tutor in reading, writing, and SAT/ACT test prep, and that’s when I figured out I could be both a writer AND a professor — that teaching was the best way for me to hone my writing skills and contribute to the world. So I went to graduate school at Iowa State University for my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Environment.

Actually, Marissa the writer and Marissa the professor are the same person. Because I am also a practicing creative writer, I place a high premium on real-world relatability in the classroom. I want to make sure every student leaves my courses knowing why the skills and ideas we’ve learned in the classroom matter outside these walls. I’m also a person that cares deeply about my students and their education, even when you’re struggling with that education. I know where you are because I’ve been to some version of there myself.

My primary genre is creative nonfiction, and my work has been published in journals such as The Atlantic, Salon, Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Guernica, The Rumpus, Diagramand others. My first book, a food memoir called The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat, was published by Greystone Books in 2017. For awhile, I ran a Pittsburgh-based reading series focused on food writing, called Acquired Taste, and wrote a monthly column for Paste magazine online called “Breaking Vegetarian.” I’m currently working on a second book about motherhood, mental illness, and migration. You can find links to lots of my writing at my author website, http://marissalandrigan.com


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