Penn State Harrisburg

Jen Hirt, M.F.A.

· Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and English Composition, Humanities

Biography

Jen Hirt is a creative writer who specializes in creative nonfiction essays and book-length memoirs, as well as experimental nonfiction and prose poetry. Her first book, the memoir Under Glass: The Girl with a Thousand Christmas Trees, was published in 2010 and won an emerging writer prize. She regularly teaches introductory creative writing courses, as well as advanced courses in nonfiction, poetry, expository writing, and social science writing. She is the faculty advisor to From the Fallout Shelter, the campus literary arts magazine, and she is active in the honors program and the graduate communications program. Hirt’s research is focused on the natural world, especially odd encounters with animals, unusual trees, and greenhouses. 

Awards

  • 2012 Gabehart Prize for Nonfiction for “Glow in the Dark”
  • 2011 Drake University Emerging Writer Prize for Under Glass
  • 2010 Pushcart Prize for “Lores of Last Unicorns”
  • 2010 Notable essay mention in Best American Essays 2010
  • 2009 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Literature Grant
  • 2004 Bernheim Arboretum Writer-in-Residence fellowship
  • 2003 Ohioana Library Grant

Professional Affiliations 

  • Associated Writing Programs
  • Ohioana Library Association

Research Interests

  • The art of the essay
  • 20th century and 21st century creative nonfiction writers
  • Trends in award-winning essays

 

Courses Taught

  • English 15: Rhetoric and Composition
  • English 30: Honors Rhetoric and Composition
  • English 50: Introduction to Creative Writing
  • English 202: Writing in the Social Sciences
  • English 213: Introduction to Poetry Writing
  • English 215: Introduction to Article Writing
  • English 415: Advanced Nonfiction Writing
  • English 421: Advanced Expository Writing
  • English 493: American Nonfiction Literature
  • Communications 525: Advanced Writers Seminar

 

Publications and Research

  • “The Understory of the One-Eyed Deer.” Confrontation. Forthcoming, Spring 2013.
  •  “Glow in the Dark.” Redivider. Forthcoming in Winter/Fall 2012 issue.
  • “String Theories.” The Sonora Review. Forthcoming in the Fall 2012 issue.
  • “Tough Stain.” The Rubbertop Review. Forthcoming in the 2012 issue.
  • “Lores of Last Unicorns.” The Pushcart Prize XXXV. Bill Henderson, ed. New York, Pushcart Press, 2011: 109-122.
  • “Illness as Metaphor.” Masterplots: Fourth Edition. Salem, CA: Salem Press: 2011: 2812-2814.
  • “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.” Masterplots: Fourth Edition. Salem, CA: Salem Press: 2011: 4469-4471.
  • “Michelle Cliff.” American Writers XXII. Jay Parini, ed. New York, Gale Publishing: 2011: 65-80.
  • Under Glass: The Girl with a Thousand Christmas Trees. Akron, OH: Ringtaw Books/University of Akron Press, 2010.
  • “Laying Dynamite with the 9th Duke of Devonshire.” Redivider. Vol. 6, no. 2, Spring 2009: 94-101.
  • “Lores of Last Unicorns.” The Gettysburg Review.  Vol. 22, no. 4, Winter 2009: 615-626.
  • “Arrived to Find.” Natural Bridge. Vol. 20, Spring 2009: 71-85.
  • “Ricinus Communis.” The King’s English. Web. Spring 2009.
  • “Idaho Fell.” Sunday Salon. Web. Summer 2008.
  • “Herculean in Nantucket White.” Rougarou. Web. Spring 2008.
  • “Out West.” Conduit. No. 19. Spring 2008: on the “tragedy” page.
  • “Charles Baxter.” American Writers XVII. Jay Parini, ed. New York, Gale Publishing: 2007: 13-24.
  • “Virgin Time” Masterplots II: Christian Literature. Salem, CA: Salem Press: 2007: 1883-1886.
  • “Scott Russell Sanders.” American Writers XVI. Jay Parini, ed. New York, Gale Publishing: 2006: 183-200.
  • “Stronghold.” Flyway. Vol. 9.3/10.1, Spring/Fall 2005: 61-71.
  • “My Family Owns Greenhouses in Ohio.” Pinyon. Issue 14. Spring 2005: 34-35.
  • “The Grotto of Redemption.” The Briar Cliff Review. Vol. 17, Spring 2005: 68-73.
  • “Cut.” Flyway. Vol. 8.3, Spring 2004. 43-54.
  • “Girlfriend.” Hiram Poetry Review. Issue 65, Spring 2004: 37.
  • “Best Offer.” Touchstone. Spring 2003: 82-94.
  • “Under Glass.” The Ohioana Quarterly. Vol. XLVI, Issue #4. Winter 2003. 489-498.
  • “Hamlin Garland.” Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. Jay Parini, ed. New York, Oxford UP, 2003: 95-97.
  • “Ring Lardner.” Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature. Jay Parini, ed. New York, Oxford UP, 2003: 402-404.
  • “Controlling the Light.” The Briar Cliff Review. Vol. 14, Spring 2002: 41-44.
  • “Defendalyze.” 580 Split. Issue 4, Spring 2002: 24-30.
  • “Ruth Has Her Reasons.” The Gihon River Review. Vol. 1, Spring 2002: 36-46.
  • “Alger Walks the Lion.” Inkwell Magazine. Issue 12, Spring 2001: 10-13.
  • “The Last Path to Me.” Tributaries. Issue 4, Fall 2001: 42-43.
  • “Under Glass.” The Heartlands Today: A Life’s Work. Vol. 12, Fall 2001: 58-67.
  • “He Was.” Main Street Rag.  4.3 (1999): 63.