Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program has added experienced educator and accomplished poet Lynnell Edwards to its leadership staff. Edwards steps into the role of associate program director, replacing Kathleen Driskell, who was promoted to program director on Jan. 1.
Edwards brings more than 20 years of teaching experience to the job. Since Fall 2010, she has served as associate professor of English at Spalding, where she directed and taught first-year writing as well as other creative writing and literature courses. From 2013 to ’15, she served as Faculty Senate representative for the School of Liberal Studies.
Edwards has written four collections of poetry. Her most recent is the chapbook “Kings of the Rock and Roll Hot Shop” (Accents, 2014). She is also the author of three full-length poetry collections: “Covet” (2011), “The Highwayman’s Wife” (2007) and “The Farmer’s Daughter” (2004), all from Red Hen Press. Her short fiction and book reviews have been published in literary journals such as New Madrid, Connecticut Review, Cincinnati Review and Pleiades, as well as in numerous anthologies. Her poems have been featured on Verse Daily. She writes a monthly book column for Louisville Magazine.
Edwards has been an active member of the Kentucky literary community. She is a founding member of Louisville Literary Arts, which produces the InKY Reading Series and the Writer’s Block Literary Festival. She served as president of Louisville Literary Arts from 2008 to ’13 and currently serves on its advisory board. She was also a member of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference Board of Directors (2012-17).
“Lynnell is an accomplished writer and a qualified, gifted teacher,” Driskell said. “I’ve long admired her dedication to undergraduate students at Spalding. As a literary arts leader, she is a force to be reckoned with in our city, state and nation. We couldn’t be more pleased that she’s agreed to join the graduate faculty and leadership team of Spalding’s MFA program.”
Edwards is one of four prominent poets taking on a new role in the Spalding MFA in Writing program for the spring. The others are Driskell, who was elevated to replace author Sena Jeter Naslund in running the program, and Kiki Petrosino and Douglas Manuel, who have joined the teaching faculty. (Read more about Driskell’s promotion, Petrosino coming to Spalding and Manuel coming to Spalding)
The recipient of the 2007 Al Smith Fellowship Award, Kentucky’s highest state-awarded fellowship for artistic achievement, Edwards has presented her work in a variety of noted curated reading series, including the Sarabande Reading Series, the Axton Reading Series at the University of Louisville, the KGB Reading Series in New York, the Annenberg Beach House Reading Series and Spalding at the Speed. In 2011, she was Featured Writer at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference.
Prior to teaching at Spalding, Edwards served as adjunct professor of English at U of L (2005-10). She was director of the writing center and parent communication at Bellarmine University in 2008-09. From 1994 to 2005, she served as professor of English and director of the writing center at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.
She holds a doctorate in rhetoric and composition and a master’s degree in creative writing, both from U of L, as well as a bachelor’s in English from Centre College.
The deadline to apply for the Spalding MFA in Writing program’s spring semester is Feb. 1.