Gretchen Legler is currently an Master’s of Divinity candidate at Harvard Divinity School, focusing on the intersections of spirituality and ecology. She is on leave from her position as a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she specializes in memoir writing, the personal essay, and nonfiction essays about the natural world. She has taught in the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage and in the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and often offers community workshops on writing and the environment.
Her most recent book of nonfiction, On The Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life at McMurdo Station Antarctica (Milkweed Editions, 2005) won the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment’s award for best environmental creative writing, and was runner up for the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for lesbian nonfiction. The book is a collection of linked essays about Antarctica, where Gretchen spent six months as a fellow with the National Science Foundation’s Artists and Writers Program. Her creative nonfiction about Antarctica has also already appeared in such venues as Orion , The Women’s Review of Books, and The Georgia Review.
Work from her first collection of essays, All The Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman’s Notebook (Seal Press, 1995), has won two Pushcart Prizes, and has been widely excerpted and anthologized in venues including Orion magazine, Uncommon Waters, Another Wilderness, Gifts of the Wild, Minnesota Seasons, A Different Angle, and more.
Her scholarly work on American women nature writers and ecocriticism has appeared in journals and anthologies including Studies in the Humanities, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Reading Under the Sign of Nature (University of Utah Press, 2000), and Writing the Environment (London: Zed Books, 1998).
Previous to her stint at Divinity School, she and her partner, singer-songwirter Ruth Hill, owned a small farm in Western Maine, raising goats and chickens and their year’s supply of food. When not in Cambridge, MA, Gretchen lives in a one-room rustic cabin on a pond in the woods. In her community of Farmington, ME, Gretchen has been on the board of SAPARS, a volunteer chaplain at Franklin Memorial Hospital, and is the co-founder of the Left Bank of the Sandy River Gay & Lesbian Literature and Cultural Salon.