Gretchen Legler is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, specializing 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.
She is currently completing a booklength collection of essays about life in rural Maine, where she and her partner, musician Ruth Hill, farm goats, chickens and vegetables on an 80-acre plot of woods and pasture. She is also working on a nonfiction book about her experiences in Bhutan, India and Nepal where she recently spent 9 months as a Fulbright Scholar. An article of hers about Bhutan can be read in Orion magazine at: https://orionmagazine.org/article/the-happiness-index/