Dr. Zack Finch

Associate Professor, English & Communications

Zack Finch
(413) 662-5137
60 Porter St. Rm 210


Ph.D. in English, SUNY Buffalo. 2012

M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Warren Wilson
College, 2003

B.A. with Honors, Dartmouth College, 1995


Courses Taught

ENGL 150: College Writing II

CCCA 209: Contemporary American Poetry & The Times

ENGL 230:  Power of Words

ENGL 301: Creative Writing Poetry

ENGL 341: Hybrid Poetics

ENGL 363: Travel Writing

ENGL 371: The American Renaissance

ENGL  430: Advanced  Poetry

ENGL 441: Signifying Jazz: Representations in Film, Literature, Music and Art

HONR 210: Director's Book Course

About Me

I came to MCLA because I have a passion for teaching and believe in the promise of the public liberal arts. Whether I'm leading a creative writing class or teaching a literary / cultural studies course, I encourage my students to risk failure, ask hard questions, be vulnerable, be ambitious, exceed their former expectations of themselves, and challenge each other on a daily basis, so that we can grow in unpredictable directions as writers, thinkers, neighbors and friends. 

Special Projects/Activities

Within the English & Communications Department, I co-organize, with Prof. Caren Beilin, our Creative Writers-in-Residence series and serve as a faculty adviser to Spires, the campus literary magazine.  In tandem with Prof. Hannah Noel, I am one of MCLA's Hardman Scholars, and I work as a member of the Writing Across the Curriculum faculty working group.  Since 2018, I have served as the Director of MCLA's Honors Program.  I am currently the reviews editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal.

Creative Writing

My poems, lyric essays and reviews have been published in magazines and journals including American Letters & Commentary, Atlanta Review, Boston Review, Brilliant Corners, Columbia Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Intervalles, Jacket2, Kadar Koli, New England Review, Poetry, P-queue, Radical Society, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Shankpainter, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tin House, 88: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry.

I enjoy working collaboratively, especially with visual artists: I wrote Chiasmus in 2013 with painter Enrico Riley (Fourth and Verse Press) as well as Ten Ounces in 2015 with artist Melanie Mowinski.

I have received a Poetry Fellowship from The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a John N. Serio Award from The Wallace Stevens Society, a Presidential Fellowship from SUNY Buffalo, a Bread Loaf Writer's Conference Scholarship, and a grant from the Vermont Studio Center.  In 2019, I received one of MCLA's Sabbatical Research Awards.


My scholarship has focused on US poetry and poetics across the late 19th and 20th centuries.  Some of my peer-reviewed publications:

"The Manner and Manners of Wallace Stevens," in The New Wallace Stevens Studies: Twenty-First Century Critical Revisions, edited by Bart Eeckhout and Gül Bilge Han, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2021.

“‘Passion for the Particular’: Marianne Moore, Henry James, Beatrix Potter and the Refuge of Close Reading," in 21st Century Moore: Essays from a Critical Renaissance, Eds. Elizabeth Gregory and Stacy Hubbard (forthcoming).

“Caliban’s Gait: The Postcolonial ‘Progress’ of American Exploratory Poetics in William Carlos Williams’ The Great American Novel” in Anglophonia: French Journal of English Studies, Issue 35, Spring 2014.

“The Ethics of Postbellum Melancholy in the Poetry of Sarah Piatt,” in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, 58.3, fall 2012.  Reprinted in Sentimentalism in Nineteenth-Century America: Literary and Cultural Practices, ed. Mary De Jong.  Farleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2013.

“‘He that of repetition is most master’: Wallace Stevens and the Poetics of Mannerism” in The Wallace Stevens Journal, 36.2, fall 2012.

“‘I am / of that people the grass / blades touch’: Walt Whitman and the Aesthetics of Curiosity in George Oppen’s Critique of Violence.” Jacket 36, late 2008.