Interlochen announces new Creative Writing director

Interlochen Center for the Arts has announced that Joe Sacksteder has been named the director of Creative Writing.

"Our search yielded a strong pool of candidates, and Joe stood out as a passionate writer and educator with a unique multidisciplinary background," said Camille Colatosti, Provost of Interlochen Center for the Arts. "His work with the Academy writing students over the past two years has been exemplary, and we are fortunate to have his leadership at the helm of this exceptional program."

Sacksteder earned his M.A. from Eastern Michigan University in 2011 and is in the process of completing his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Utah. His story collection, "Make/Shift," won the 2017 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature from Sarabande Books, and his debut novel, "Driftless Quintet," won the 2018 Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music In Literature and is forthcoming from Schaffner Press. His album of audio collages and collaborative videos, "Fugitive Traces," was released by Punctum Books in 2016.

His work has appeared in such publications as Salt Hill, Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, Passages North, and Denver Quarterly. Since the fall of 2017, he has been the Visiting Instructor of Fiction and Nonfiction at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Sacksteder will oversee the Creative Writing program for both the Arts Academy and Arts Camp at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Students from these programs have won many numerous awards across all writing genres, including 19 Presidential Scholar Awards. Alumni of the Creative Writing program include Doug Stanton, Brittany Cavallaro, and many other accomplished writers.

Sacksteder previously taught composition and creative writing courses at Eastern Michigan University, including his work in EMU's College in Prison Program, and at the University of Utah, where he served as Managing Editor and New Media Editor of the journal Quarterly West.

"From the first moment I stepped into the Writing House as part of the Creative Writing Department in 2017, I felt a palpable sense of excitement and possibility,” says Sacksteder. “Every day since then, our brilliant students and dedicated faculty and staff have made the woods of Michigan feel like the center of the literary universe. I couldn't be more excited to serve Interlochen Center for the Arts in this new capacity, and to ensure that it continues to be the place where we foster the next generation of daring literary innovators and generous ambassadors of the arts."