the writer

Anita Skeen at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico

Anita Skeen at Plaza Blanca near Abiquiu, New Mexico

Anita Skeen is currently Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University where she is the Arts Coordinator and Director of The Center for Poetry.  She began her teaching career at Bowling Green University where she received an MFA in Creative Writing in 1971, then went to teach in the MFA Program at Wichita State University where she was a recipient of the Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching before she moved to Michigan State in 1990.  She has taught in kindergarten through high school while working with the Kansas Arts Commission’s Artist in the Schools Program; in traditional venues such as college classrooms as a Visiting Writer and Writer in Residence; and in senior citizens’ centers, libraries, and at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.  There she has been the Director of the Creative Arts Program for nearly 30 years, and the Fall Writing Festival for 13 years.

She is the author of four volumes of poetry: Each Hand A Map; Portraits; Outside the Fold, Outside the Frame; The Resurrection of the Animals; and a fifth, with Oklahoma poet Jane Taylor, When We Say Shelter, with whom she also edited the literary anthology, Once Upon A Place:  Writings from Ghost Ranch. Her poetry, short fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.  She has completed a manuscript of poetry, Never the Whole Story, begun while she was a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and is working on a collection of short stories, Repeating the Catechism, and a first novel, Minor Chords.  She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, reading, and various sorts of art projects.  She likes all sports, played intramural sports in college and was a member of two curling teams as a graduate student at Bowling Green.  She grew up in the woods in southern West Virginia (near Big Chimney) so has always loved the outdoors in all seasons.  A long-time dog lover (especially of beagles), she and her partner Beth are now the parents of three cats: Koshare, Yaqui, and Chaco.

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