Rachel Ann Girty

Rachel Ann Girty
Writing & Research Advisor
MFA, Helen Zell Writers’ Program, University of Michigan, 2019
Research Interests: Queer literature, humor, popular culture, the Modernist novel.


I’m a trained classical singer, and, unsurprisingly, my writing focuses closely on voice. I’m concerned with the motivations and techniques behind the simplest of utterances. Every sentence can be understood vectorially, as an interaction between velocity and direction, and can also be understood rhythmically, as a system that creates, resists, and recreates patterns to connect reader and writer in a shared experience of the passage of time.

Writing Profile

My novel-in-progress draws inspiration from the story conventions of espionage fiction and dramatizes the lifelong coming-out process as parallel to the work of a covert operative. The novel also challenges the economic underpinnings of American womanhood as my narrator makes a series of halfhearted attempts to live ethically under capitalism. I’ve published poems and short stories in Sinister Wisdom, Pretty Owl Poetry, The Academy of American Poets, The Briar Cliff Review, and elsewhere.

Work with Students

Creative writing pedagogy often focuses heavily on editing; I want to balance that approach with an awareness of how the composition process works. I work with students to demystify the unconscious processes at work when we use language to create something that does not yet exist. I advise students on their individual writing projects but also their lives as writers and their membership in the global community of writers.

Selected Publications

  • “Sleep Paralysis, Accompanied by Hallucinations,” Sinister Wisdom 117: Lesbians In the City (2020).
  • “In the Basement of the Film Building,” Pretty Owl Poetry 24 (2020).
  • “In Those Days,” Pretty Owl Poetry 24 (2020).
  • “Creation Myths,” Pretty Owl Poetry 24 (2020).


Subject Area: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry