Office Phone: (540) 432-4558
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: RLN 216
Language & Literature Dept and Visual & Communication Arts Dept
Kirsten serves as director of EMU’s Core Curriculum. She earned her MFA in creative writing at West Virginia University. She is a contributing editor to The Tusculum Review and edited the anthology Tongue Screws and Testimonies: Poems, Stories, and Essays Inspired by the Martyrs Mirror. Kirsten co-chaired Mennonites Writing VI: Solos and Harmonies, a bi-national writing conference, in Spring 2012.
She lives in Briery Branch with her husband, daughters, a bevy of backyard chickens and ducks, several hives of honeybees, and Sophie the cat.
B.A. Philosophy & Theology, Eastern Mennonite University
B.A. Theater, Eastern Mennonite University
M.F.A. Creative Writing, West Virginia University
- “Extra! Extra!: Welcoming Twins When Down Syndrome is Part of the Story.” Two-part feature, Twins Magazine. July/August and September/October 2016. (Vol. 33, nos. 4 & 5).
- “After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America.” Book Review. Lancaster Mennonite Heritage. October 2016.
- “Notes from the Night Owl Feed.” Book chapter in On Mothering Multiples: Complexities and Possibilities. Ed. Kathy Mantas. Demeter Press. 2016.
- “Eggs: A Short History of Infertility and Ducks.” The Cresset. Lent 2014.
- “Milk.” Book chapter in Mennonite Mothering. Co-editors, Rachel Epp Buller and Kerry Fast. Demeter Press. 2013.
- “Entering the Wild.” Book Review. Mennonite Quarterly Review. October 2013.
- “Lavish Banquets.” The Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing. May
- “Mennonite Girls Can Read (With Recipes!).” Short fiction. Mennonite Life. Summer 2012.
- “His Wife.” Short fiction. The Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing. March 2012.
- “That Hidden Thing.” Book Review. Rhubarb. Winter 2011.
- “A President’s Journey: the Memoirs of Henry Poettker and At Powerline and Diamond Hill: Unexpected Intersections of Life and Faith.” Book Review. Mennonite
Quarterly Review. October 2011.
- “Confederate Streets.” Book Review. Tusculum Review Blog & Book Reviews. 2011.
- “Groff’s Haplotype.” Short fiction. Spittoon Magazine. September 2011.
- “Walking.” The Tusculum Review. 2011.
- “Field Notes Toward a Doctrine of Chicken.” The Cresset. Lent 2011
- Tongue Screws and Testimonies: Poems, Stories, and Essays Inspired by the Martyrs Mirror, Herald Press, 2010. Anthology editor.
- “Fertility.” Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. 2010
- “Wild Things Need a Mother.” Review. Dreamseeker Magazine. Winter 2010
- “The Last Worker.” Tusculum Review Online. December 2010
- “The Last Mile.” Rhubarb. Winter 2009
- “Me and the Martyrs.” (reprint) Center for Mennonite Writing Journal1.5 (Sept. 2009)
- “Selling the Farm.” Shenandoah 59.1 (2009). Listed as “notable” essay in Best American Essays 2010
- “A Butcher of Conscience.” The Tusculum Review 4 (2008).
- “The Institute of Transcendence.” Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression 2.1 (2008):101-108
- “Is that all?” Dreamseeker Magazine 7.4 (2007): 7-11.
- “Me and the Martyrs.” The Tusculum Review3 (2007): 7-24
- “The Comforts of Home.” eightyone Dec. 2006.
- “Cinderella Maneuvers.” WriterAdvice.com June 2006.
- “Report from Amish Country.” Dreamseeker Magazine 5.4 (2005): 5-10.
- “The Day They Ask.” Nonfiction. Dreamseeker Magazine 5.1 (2005): 23-25. [Reprinted in eightyone November 2005.]
- Features, interviews, and columns for eightyone magazine, March 2006-January 2007.
- Features and news articles for Crossroads. 2000, 2005-2006
Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts
- “Eggs: A Short History of Infertility and Ducks.” Mothering Mennonite Conference. Bethel College. October 2013.
- “Martyr Stock: Literary Responses to the Martyrs Mirror.” Martyrs Mirror: Reflections Across Time Study Conference. Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College. June 2010.
- “Me and the Martyrs.” Mennonite/s Writing Conference. Bluffton, Ohio. October 2006.
- “Motivating Revision Through Written Response.” WVU Writing Program. Morgantown, W. Va. Spring 2005.
- Various sermons for Shalom Mennonite Congregation, Harrisonburg, from 2007-present. Most recently: “How Can We Be Church for People [With Disabilities]?” July 2015.
- “Reading and Writing with the Martyrs” workshop with Tongue Screws and Testimonies contributors at Community Mennonite Church Retreat.
Sept. 10, 2011.
- “Martyr Stock.” Sermon. Paoli Mennonite Fellowship, Paoli, Ind. August 21, 2011.
- “Tongue Screws and Testimonies.” Parkview Mennonite Church Sunday School lesson. May 29, 2011.
Exhibits, Performances and Productions
- “In Her Own Words: Civil War Stories of Mennonite and Brethren Women in the
Shenandoah Valley.” Virginia Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center Lecture, Fall
2011. Also presented for the Dayton Heritage Society in June 2013, Rappahannock County Historical Society in November 2014, and VMRC Lyceum Series in April 2015.
- Sarah and the Dinosaur. Spring and Summer 2012. Dinosaur.
- Tongue Screws and Testimonies Reading. Arts Council of the Valley’s Smith House, Harrisonburg, Va. Jan. 14, 2011.
- “Duck Stories.” Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Fall 2010.
- Tongue Screws and Testimonies Release Reading. EMU. Nov. 18, 2010.
- Never Tell Mother Poets. Flash Fiction. Common Grounds Reading. EMU. Fall 2009.
- “Martyrs and Chickens.” Nonfiction reading. EMU Department of Language & Literature, Harrisonburg, Va. April 2007.
- “The Derby.” Fiction reading. WVU Graduate Reading, Morgantown, W. Va. Spring 2006.
- “The Day they Ask.” Nonfiction reading. EMU Honors Program, Harrisonburg, Va. January 2006.
- “Report from Amish Country.” Nonfiction reading. EMU Bible and Religion Department, Harrisonburg, Va. Fall 2005.
- MFA readings. Various fiction pieces. Morgantown, W. Va. Jan. 2005, Sept. 2004, Jan. 2004.
- The Elephant Market Reading. Fiction. Morgantown, W. Va. April 2004.
Church, Community and Professional Service
- Harrisonburg/Rockingham ARC. Board member starting in 2017.
- Founding member of Smith House Writers Collective, 2016-present.
- Bethany Peace Essay Contest committee. Bethany Theological Seminary. 2013-2015.
- Student Kairos Place: co-leader for week-long writing retreat for EMU students. 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017; resource person 2014.
- EMU Intellectual Life Committee. Chair. 2016-present.
- Strategic Planning Committee task force to revise EMU Mission, Vision, Values
- EMU Writing Committee 2013-present.