" "

Eva Saulitis

Associate Faculty, Nonfiction
Creative Writing & Literary Arts


Eva Saulitis taught English and creative writing at the  Kachemak Bay branch of Kenai Peninsula College, in Homer, Alaska, from 1999-2015  and was also on the faculty of the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference.  Trained initially as a marine biologist, she  received her M.S. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1993.  Since 1986, she has studied the killer  whales of Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords and the Aleutian Islands and was the author and co-author of numerous scientific publications.  Dissatisfied with the objective language and rigid methodology of science, she turned to creative writing—poetry and the essay—to develop another language with which to address the natural world, receiving her MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1996.  Her essay collection, Leaving Resurrection, was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Non-Fiction Prize, and was published by Boreal Books/Red Hen Press in 2008. Her essays and poems have  appeared in numerous literary journals, including Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Northwest Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Carnet de Route, Seattle Review, Ice-Floe, Connotations and Kalliope. They also appeared in several anthologies, including Homeground: Language for an American Landscape, edited by Barry Lopez; she read essays she contributed to that volume on the PBS radio series Living on Earth. She was a recipient of fellowships from the Island Institute, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (Connie Boochever Fellowship), and the Rasmuson Foundation. In 2007, with the help of grants from Rasmuson Foundation and Ventspils  House, an international center for writers and translators, she spent a month in Latvia, her parents' birthplace, where she began a new book of lyric essays  and completed a poetry collection entitled Many Ways to Say It.

Teaching Responsibilities

I am a passionate teacher. My teaching practice involves close attention to the work of individual students and the promotion of voracious reading across genres. I am most interested in experimental and cross-genre (poetry/prose) forms, though I advocate for students developing a facility and ability to play with traditional forms, and to know where they live as writers in relation to the "tradition" of their form. My sense of this tradition, however, is expansive and includes oral traditions, non-western literatures and the avant-garde. While I write about the natural world, I work against the usual in nature writing, and seek to push the bounds of what nature writing can be, both in form and content. I am also interested in writing that reflects the intersection of history and culture on the individual life. I consider myself a workshop skeptic, promoting an atmosphere of openness, questioning, and conversation rather than of harsh critique. At the same time, I promote radical revision and honesty. In workshop, I see student writing foremost as an avenue to explore elements of craft, as a chance to examine conundrums that particular pieces of writing create and how writers can navigate a way through them.