Creative Writing program welcomes new faculty

  • A creative writing student shares her work with the class.

Interlochen Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that published authors and poets Brittany Cavallaro (IAA 02-04) and Joe Sacksteder (IAC St 05-07, IAA St 06-08) will be joining the Creative Writing faculty at the start of the 2017-18 Interlochen Arts Academy academic year.

Cavallaro is replacing outgoing Instructor of Poetry Atom Atkinson, while Sacksteder will assume the courses taught by Mika Perrine and outgoing Director of Creative Writing Dave Griffith. This spring, Atkinson and Griffith announced that they had each accepted positions at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York.

Current Instructor of Creative Writing Mika Perrine (IAA 93-96) and previous Director of Creative Writing prior to the arrival of Griffith, will begin serving as interim Director of the program until June 2018. A national search begins this winter for a new Director. Perrine was a Helen Zell Fellow in Fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards in short fiction and creative nonfiction. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and completing an Honors Thesis in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in “New Voices For Nature: Stories of the Land” from Northern Wisconsin Writers, published by the Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, Wisconsin, and in Clerestory, The Brown-RISD Journal for the Arts.

Cavallaro holds an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is nearing completion of her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her first collection of poems, “Girl-King”, was the Editor’s Choice selection in the 2013 Akron Poetry Prize and was published in 2015 by the University of Akron Press. Her second collection, “Unhistorical,” is forthcoming from the same press. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte Holmes novels from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, including “A Study in Charlotte” and “The Last of August.” “The Case for Jamie,” book three in the series, will be released in March 2018.

Sacksteder received his M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University in 2011, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah, where he serves as an editor of Quarterly West. In addition to having taught for six years on the undergraduate level, Joe has also volunteered as a teacher for 826 Michigan and at the Eastern Michigan University College in Prison Program. His fiction, poetry, nonfiction and audio-visual work has appeared in such journals as Passages North, Sleeping Fish, Mississippi Review and The Rumpus. Joe was also a cabin counselor at Interlochen Arts Camp for three summers and worked in Residence Life from 2006-2008.