What do you love about K?
I love that most everyone here is incredibly passionate about what they do. From faculty to staff to students, we all seem to be driven by a higher purpose and find great meaning in our work. For me, spending my days reading and discussing great literature and craft with smart and engaged students and mentoring them in their writing is as good as it gets.
Silliest classroom moment?
In a single creative writing class I spontaneously attempted to teach haiku by demonstrating Butoh dance. Later, in the middle of what I’m sure was a very serious discussion, I tipped too far forward in my chair and it promptly slipped out from beneath me. I immediately popped back up and tried to continue the conversation as if nothing happened, but the entire class burst out laughing. I’ve learned the hard way that modeling imperfection is a generous act and very good for high-achieving perfectionist students.
Advice you’re eternally grateful you received?
“Trust your instincts. They’ll never steer you wrong.” My dad told me this when I was a teenager as a kind of permission to ignore all other advice. It has given me the freedom to make imaginative and irrational choices that made no sense to others, but led me to a pursuit of writing and living all over the world that is uniquely mine. Today, the ability to take in information from various sources, process it critically, and then tune it out and listen to your gut is even more crucial as communication technologies pull us into a world of hyper-destructive comparison that moves at an insane pace. Stepping off the spinning top and retreating into contemplation is the practice of writing creative nonfiction, and in many ways, it’s my life’s work.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Marin Heinritz first came to Kalamazoo College to study philosophy as an undergrad. She earned a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University with a focus on narrative journalism, and her Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Non-Fiction Writing is from Western Michigan University. Her current writing project is a coming-of-age memoir about having survived cancer at 17. Marin has worked for The Boston Review, Mother Jones Magazine, The Pennsylvania Law Weekly, and Third Coast Magazine; and her writing has appeared in The Pennsylvania Law Weekly, Mother Jones Magazine, The Kalamazoo Gazette, The Collagist, JuxtaProse, and HippoCampus, among other publications.
Interview with Dr. Heinritz:
ENGL 105 Introduction to Journalism
ENGL 107 Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL 152 Reading the World: Journalism
ENGL 205 Feature Writing
ENGL 207 Arts Journalism
ENGL 208 Food and Travel Writing (Sophomore Seminar)
ENGL 215 Creative Nonfiction Workshop
ENGL 436 Feminist, Gender, and Queer Theory
ENGL 439 Advanced Narrative Journalism
WRIT 130 Defiant Bodies (First-Year Seminar)
WRIT 148 Written on the Body (Service Learning First-Year Seminar)