R134. Writing Outside: The Importance of an Interdisciplinary Approach to Writing

Room 2A, Washington State Convention Center, Level 2
Thursday, February 27, 2014
10:30 am to 11:45 am


Iowa State University’s unique program in creative writing and environment is also the only MFA program with its own nature reserve. All students do fieldwork and take twelve units of outside courses, ranging from restoration ecology to history of architecture. Here, ISU students will discuss how experiences outside of workshop become a necessary component to the writing life. Other disciplines are important to writers; this is how one program seeks to integrate outside disciplines with writing.



Claire Kruesel studies Creative Writing and Environment, focus in poetry, at Iowa State University's MFA program. Her writing is informed by her work as a nationally certified yoga teacher and her scientific background, including degrees in Biochemistry and Genetics and graduate level labwork.

Stefanie Brook Trout edits nonfiction for Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment and teaches at Iowa State University. She writes environmental nonfiction and fiction that draws on her science and history backgrounds as well as her experiences as a first-generation American in the Midwest.

Audrey McCombs is currently an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing and Environment Program at Iowa State University. A writer of fiction and nonfiction, she has worked for many years in natural resources management.

Meg Brown is a nonfiction writer and scholar in the field of anthrozoology, focusing on animal-related subcultures and animal protection reform. She is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University.

Michelle Donahue is an MFA candidate in creative writing and environment at Iowa State, where she is the managing editor of Flyway Journal of Writing and Environment. A writer of fiction and poetry, her work has appeared in Whiskey Island, Paper Darts, and Redactions.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center