Colleen Abel

Writer, Editor, Teacher

I love books. I love everything about books. (Except moving the 1,000 boxes they take up every time I change addresses.)

As a writer, I have both written books (HOUSEWIFERY, dancing girl press, 2013) and written about books and literature for places like Ploughshares and Gently Read Literature.

As an editor, I have worked at weekly newspapers, national literary magazines (cream city review) and other publications.

As a teacher, I have taught writing and literature everywhere from the University of Wisconsin to Warren Wilson College, with a lot of stops in between.

In my spare time? I read, of course.

United States of America



What Does It Mean When We Label Women & Artists as 'Quirky'?

Among my papers, found while cleaning today: a note on my work from a writer friend. The note was dated nearly ten years ago. My friend and I exchanged manuscripts after grad...


"Musings on Motherhood are Not Enough": On the Perils and Joys of Parenting Poetry

Recently I was looking at calls for poetry, and I came across one that listed the editor's preferences for the type of work that appealed to her. She listed the things which, in...


Ignoring Poetry Means Ignoring Diversity

It's that time of year. Resolutions are being made. Parties are being organized. And the "Best of" year-end lists are popping up everywhere, stuffing our Facebook feeds and...


Second Thoughts: Colleen Abel on Poems: Selected and New 1950-1974 by Adrienne Rich

by Colleen Abel | Dec-23-2015 This is the fifteenth in Critical Mass's new Second Thoughts series, curated by Daniel Akst. More about this series, and how to submit, here. When...

Threadless Blog

Four Recipes for a Perfect Collaboration - Threadless Blog

In our last post, we talked about some things you should know before embarking on a collaboration, since making art with another person can be a bit, well, nerve-wracking. But...


Mr. and Mrs. Doctor

Mr. and Mrs. Doctor , by Julie Iromuanya. Coffee House Press, 2015. $17, 292 pages. In the Bible, God tests the faith of Job by taking away his servants, slaughtering his...


[REVIEW] Loose Strife, by Quan Barry - [PANK]

University of Pittsburgh Press 65 pages, $15.95 Review by Colleen Abel Quan Barry is having a good year. Her debut novel She Weeps Each Time You're Born came out to strong...

Threadless Blog

Playing Well With Others: 5 Tips for Artistic Collaborations - Threadless Blog

Let's face it: making art can be kind of a lonely endeavor. Most of your time is spent either daydreaming of ideas, or working to make those ideas a reality. But it doesn't...


To Live In Autumn

To paraphrase William Carlos Williams, it is difficult to get the news from poems, but people die miserably every day from a lack of what is found there. Zeina Hashem Beck's...

Gently Read Literature


Book Review of Caryl Pagel's debut collection


Writing Lessons: Colleen Abel

In our Writing Lessons series, writing students-and this month, writing instructors!-will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying and...