An Alabama farm girl with a Ph.D in nineteenth-century British literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Associate Professor Amy Weldon has grown new roots in Iowa, getting her students pumped about local poetry slams and author readings at the Iowa Writers Workshop and teaching adult writing classes at ArtHaus Decorah. Her book The Hands-On Life: How to Wake Yourself Up and Save the World—an intelligent guide to mindfulness in the digital age—is forthcoming from Cascade Books/Wipf and Stock Publishers. Among her other book-length projects in progress are The Writer's Eye: Observation and Inspiration for Creative Writers (forthcoming from Bloomsbury) and a novel, Creature, based on the life of Mary Shelley.
Amy is a passionate teacher of British Romanticism, creative writing, Paideia, and contemporary literature. Her essays have appeared in edited collections including Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016), William Faulkner: Critical Perspectives (Salem Press, 2013), The Best Travel Writing 2012 (Solas Press), and Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing, Vol. 2 (UNC Press). Her essay "'A Worn Path' in the Creative Writing Classroom: Writing, Attention, and the Ecological Thought" is forthcoming in Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty: Twenty-first Century Approaches from University Press of Mississippi. Another essay, "Attentional Commons and the Common Good: Technology and Higher Education," appears in Intersections. Other short fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarly work appears and is forthcoming in Orion, The Common, Midwestern Gothic, Bloom, The Millions, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Carolina Quarterly, The Mississippi Quarterly, Thumbnail, and Inch, among others, with recent book reviews in Orion and Keats-Shelley Journal and a column for the Chronicle of Higher Education on recommendation letters. She has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference and a participant in the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Bread Loaf / Orion Environmental Writers Conference. An avid seed-saver and urban gardener, she blogs about sustainability, finance, and other nourishments of life and spirit.
Overseas teaching and learning is another of Amy's particular delights. In January 2018, she'll lead the fourth incarnation of her popular course "In Frankenstein's Footsteps: The Keats-Shelley Circle in London, Geneva, and Italy," which also happens to be the 200th anniversary year of Frankenstein's publication. In Spring 2019, Amy will direct the London portion of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest's (ACM's) "London and Florence: Arts in Context" program. You can read more of her thoughts on the program and more about her visit to the Keats-Shelley House in Rome with her students.
I describe my own goals with two interrelated Teaching Verbs: destabilize and rebuild. They aren’t what I do to students—they are what I help students do with their own assumptions, ideas, and skills.