Jan Clausen

Faculty on Leave of Absence, MFA in Creative Writing Program
Residency Site: Plainfield VT



Jan Clausen is the author of a dozen books in a range of genres, including the hybrid text Veiled Spill: A Sequence (GenPop). Seven Stories Press recently reissued her 1999 Memoir Apples and Oranges: My Journey through Sexual Identity. Other titles include If You Like Difficulty and Duration (poetry); Sinking, Stealing and The Prosperine Papers (novels); and Mother, Sister, Daughter, Lover (stories). Clausen’s poetry and creative prose are widely published in journals and anthologies; her book reviews and literary journalism have appeared in Boston Review, Jacobin, Ms., The Nation, Poets & Writers, and The Women’s Review of Books. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she has lived in Brooklyn, New York since the 1970s. Awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Website: www.ablationsite.org


MA in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory, The New School
BA in Liberal Arts, The New School

Areas of Expertise

  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Cross-Genre / Hybrid
  • Poetry

Personal Statement

What I love most about my work with MFA students is getting so many chances to have intense conversations about making art. Together, we wrestle with how to create powerful forms (sometimes delightful, sometimes disruptive) worthy of content that matters deeply to artist and audience. I bring to this conversation a critical consciousness and commitment to democratic dialogue honed over a lifetime of community activism centered on social justice issues. My exchanges with advisees have to do with, on one hand, identifying pre-existing strengths in the work that offer foundations to build on, and on the other, pushing for consideration of new or under-explored possibilities. Students typically regard me as a demanding advisor, but also one who really listens and who is equally demanding of herself when it comes to crafting a careful response that blends close analytic reading with a synthetic overview.


  1. Apples and Oranges
    Apples & Oranges: My Journey through Sexual IdentitySeven Stories Press2017
  2. Veiled Spill: A Sequence
  3. If You Like Difficulty
    If You Like DifficultyHarbor Mountain Press2007
  4. Apples and Oranges
  5. Prosperine Papers
    The Prosperine Papers Crossing Press1988
  6. Mother, sister, daughter, lover: Stories