Dr. Zack Finch

Associate Professor, English

Zack Finch
(413) 662-5137
60 Porter St. Rm 104


Ph.D. in English, SUNY Buffalo. 

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

B.A. with Honors, Dartmouth College, 


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

In addition to serving as the current chairperson of the English & Communications Department, I organize MCLA’s Visiting Writers series, and serve as the faculty adviser to Spires, the campus literary magazine, and the campus poetry club. I am currently an editor at The Wallace Stevens Journal.

Creative Writing

My lyric essays have recently been published in The Georgia Review, New England Review, Colorado Review, The Bennington Review, Socrates on the Beach, Tupelo Quarterly, and Brilliant Corners.   Two of these essays were honored as “notable” in the Best American Essay anthologies of 2021 and 2022.

My poetry has appeared in journals including American Letters & Commentary, Atlanta Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Kadar Koli, 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 with painter Enrico Riley (Fourth and Verse Press) as well as Ten Ounces in 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.