"The master who tries to teach without inspiring the student’s desire to learn is trying to forge cold iron."

Lea Graham

is a writer, editor, translator and professor who lives in Kingston, New York. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Northwest Arkansas and has lived in Joplin, Missouri; Perth Amboy, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Worcester, Massachusetts; Santiago, Dominican Republic; San Jose, Costa Rica; Florence, Italy and Quito, Ecuador. She earned her B.A. in English from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is Associate Professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York where she has been on faculty since 2007.

She teaches both creative writing and literature courses, with a focus on contemporary poetry and theory, place studies, travel writing, music and cultural studies, and Latin American literature. Her first year seminars and special topics courses have included Myth, Play, Politics: 20th Century Poetics; Poetics & the Philosophy of Language (co-taught), Magical Realism in the Americas, Blues Poetry/Blues History (co-taught) and Birth of the Cool: Jazz & 20th Century U.S. Culture.

She has led numerous travel abroad courses and taught internationally in places such as Dublin, Ireland; Les Cayes, Haiti; Santiago de Compostela, Spain and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. She has been faculty on the Marist/Lorenzo d’ Medici campus in Florence, Italy where she taught the first year seminar, Florence by Foot, Tuscany by Train and in fall 2016 will teach All Roads (Don’t) Lead to Rome: A Study on Pilgrimage.

Graham is the author of the poetry collection, Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You (No Tell Books, 2011), the chapbook, Calendar Girls (above/ground, 2006) and the forthcoming chapbook, This End of the World: Notes to Robert Kroetsch (Apt. 9 Press, 2016). Since 2013 she has been the curator of “Boo’s Hollow,” a monthly series that focuses on poetry and place in the online journal, Atticus Review.

Her poems, reviews, essays and translations have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies that include Milk, Notre Dame Review, The Southern Humanities Review, Toad Suck Review, Sentence, American Letters & Commentary, Fifth Wednesday, Connotations Press, Capilano Review, In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Hudson Valley Poetics and The Southern Poetry Anthology VI: Tennessee.

Her current poetry manuscript, From the Hotel Vernon, grows out and around the Hotel Vernon, built at the turn of the 20th century in Worcester, Massachusetts. In this book, oral histories are poised between and among flagrant sexuality, humor and abject poverty. Names of neighborhood places—Rizutti’s Goodnight Café, The Nines, The Greyhound— are recited as both proof and pride in a neighborhood that was diminished through the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, cutting off foot traffic to local businesses by 1970. It is still looking for a publishing home.

Current projects include Curiosity Road, a book of travel essays, and a poetry manuscript, In Transit, which focuses on the histories of travel.