Julia Spicher Kasdorf


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Julia Spicher Kasdorf was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Irwin, Pennsylvania.  Her most recent book is a collection of poems, Poetry in America, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2011.  With Michael Tyrell, she co-edited the anthology, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn, published by NYU Press in 2007.

She attended Goshen College and received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from New York University.  Her awards include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Great Lakes College’s Association Award for New Writing for her first book of poems, Sleeping Preacher.  The Library Journal ranked her second collection of poems, Eve’s Striptease, among the Best Books of Poetry for 1998.  She received a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship in poetry, and The Conference on Christianity and Literature granted its Book of the Year Award to her collection of essays, The Body and the Book:  Writing from a Mennonite Life. 

Her scholarly work includes the biographical study, Fixing Tradition:  Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American.  With Joshua R. Brown, she edited Yoder’s regional classic, Rosanna of the Amish, and Fred Lewis Pattee’s local color romance The House of the Black Ring.

She is currently working on a multi-genre project on the topic of sacrifice.  She is Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, where she teaches creative writing and oversees the Writer in the Community project.  She also serves as poetry editor for Christianity and Literature.