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Join Sonora Jha’s Narrative Storytelling class for an intimate one-night guest lecture with Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Author of the New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays and Kirkus Prize finalist, World Of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments (2020, Milkweed Editions), Aimee will discuss the craft of storytelling with Sonora and her students. Questions for Aimee may be submitted in advance and during the talk via the chat.
Sonora’s class will also have a guest lecture from Jocelyn Nicole Johnson on December 2, 2021. Learn more »
Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.
If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.
If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.
If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil was born in Chicago, IL to a Filipina mother and a father from South India. She attended The Ohio State University where she received her BA in English and her MFA in poetry and creative non-fiction and was then awarded the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at UW-Madison. After teaching in western NY for fifteen years, Nezhukumatathil was awarded the Grisham Writer-in-Residence in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program for 2016-17.
She is the author of the New York Times best-selling book of illustrated nature essays, WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, & OTHER ASTONISHMENTS (2020, Milkweed Editions), finalist for the Kirkus Prize in non-fiction and named Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year. She has four previous poetry collections: OCEANIC (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award; LUCKY FISH (2011) winner of the gold medal for the Independent Publisher Book Awards, AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007), winner of the Balcones Prize; and MIRACLE FRUIT (2003), winner of the Tupelo Press Prize, ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award, the Global Filipino Award and a finalist for The Glasgow Prize and the Asian American Literary Award. Her most recent chapbook is LACE & PYRITE, a collaboration of epistolary nature poems with the poet Ross Gay.
Nezhukumatathil is a contributing editor or serves on the advisory board of Poets & Writers magazine, Orion magazine, Terrain.org, BOA Editions, Kundiman, and the Poetry Center at Passaic Community College.
Her writing appears twice in the Best American Poetry Series, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Tin House.
Her poems and essays have been widely anthologized in such venues as Best American Poetry (2015 and 2018), They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing, Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, Billy Collins’ second edition of Random House’s Poetry 180: A Poem a Day and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Asian American Poetry from W.W. Norton, among others. A number of her essays and poems have also been published in several high school AP English textbooks and college textbooks.
Awards include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, the Angoff Award from The Literary Review, the Boatwright Prize from Shenandoah, The Richard Hugo Prize from Poetry Northwest, and fellowships from the MacDowell Arts Colony and the Mississippi Arts Council. In 2020, she was named a Guggenheim fellow in poetry.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is also known for her dynamic and joy-filled teaching. Equally at ease in a university or high school classroom, she often serves as a poetry “ambassador,” bringing the delights and joys of reading and writing poetry to classrooms all over the country. She has twice served as a faculty member for the Kundiman Asian American Writers’ Retreat. Her books are widely adopted for high schools, colleges, and universities as part of contemporary poetry, environmental studies, women’s studies, and Asian-American literature classes; and she has been a featured reader at hundreds of venues across the globe from Amsterdam to Greece to Singapore. In 2014, Nezhukumatathil became one of the country’s youngest poets to achieve the rank of full Professor of English.
SIERRA magazine, the story-telling arm of The Sierra Club, named her the first-ever poetry editor of the magazine in 2021. She is professor of English and teaches environmental literature and poetry writing in the MFA program of the University of Mississippi and lives in Oxford, MS with her husband, the writer Dustin Parsons, and their two young sons.