New Faculty Spotlight: Joanna Howard

Lighthouse recently welcomed Joanna Howard to our roster of talented instructors. Most recently a teacher at Brown University, Howard is the author of numerous books, including the forthcoming memoir The Rerun Era (McSweeney's, 2019). By way of introducing her to the Lighthouse community, we asked her to respond to a few questions below. 

Your book On the Winding Stair involves ghosts, how do you feel about the ghost stories at Lighthouse headquarters? 

I was so excited to find out about the lady in lavender! I hope I will get a chance to greet her. I am a bit nervous about the little boy ghost—kid ghosts are notoriously feisty! 

If you died and got to choose any 12 x 12 ft area to haunt (without interacting with the living), where would you choose and why?

I would haunt the top floor of the castle on St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. But I bet it is already crowded. 

Rules of writing are known to be flexible, are there any that you believe should be adhered to?

I think there is a golden rule of writing which is also a rule of reading: it amounts to being generous to placing trust in the writer’s vision until you finish the work, even when you doubt that vision is being executed as you would hope. If we all try to see the writing of others as generously as we would like our writing to be received, and try to see our own writing as generously as we see some of our favorite authors, the circulation of joy around writing will increase exponentially!  

What is the book, author, or series that has impacted you the most and what was your reaction to it? 

The writer Renee Gladman and her Ravicka series of novels has impacted my life the most. I also adore her visual art and her writings about drawings. She is a gift to the world!  

What would your perfect writing space look like (it does not have to be realistic)?

My perfect writing space looks like a dock on an a small island, on a very dark and glassy lake, and the weather is warm and breezy. 


Joanna Howard is the author of the novel Foreign Correspondent;(Counterpath, 2013), a story collection On the Winding Stair (Boa editions, 2009), an artist's book In the Colorless Round, (Noemi, 2006) and Field Glass, a speculative novel co-written with Joanna Ruocco (Sidebrow, 2017). Her memoir The Rerun Era is forthcoming from McSweeney's (2019). Her work has appeared in Conjunctions,& VerseMcSweeney'sBombChicago ReviewBrooklyn Rail, and places elsewhere. She has also collaborated on translations from French: Walls by Marcel Cohen (Black Square, 2009) and Cows by Frederic Boyer (Noemi, 2014). She taught in the Literary Arts program at Brown University for 15 years before coming recently to University of Denver's PhD program in Literary Arts, where she teaches prose writing and prose and poetry hybrids, narrative theory, and contemporary literature. She lives in Denver and in Providence, RI