Professor of English
At North Park Since: 2005
Working with creative writing concentration in the English major, Kristy Odelius is excited about her students’ imaginations and the opportunities to nurture them that are inherent to North Park. As a close-knit community, students have real opportunities to work alongside others in creative disciplines, like art or theatre or philosophy, she says, developing interesting and unique writing styles, projects, and themes. She is energized by the ways students create “rich, really thoughtful connections” between visual, written, and performance art forms. “We have a great environment to encourage cross-pollination amongst the humanities students in many different majors,” she says.
Placing a high premium on collaboration with a wide range of voices, Professor Odelius continues to explore new ways to encourage interdepartmental collaboration. She is developing opportunities with the philosophy department for their students to think critically and creatively about “urban naturalism,” reflecting on environmental experiences in both rural and city settings. In her classes, Professor Odelius teaches work that addresses the experiences and traditions of all her students, and also provides workshop sessions in which to write and discuss their own work. Through working with others in these ways, Dr. Odelius hopes that she and her students all maintain a close connection with cultural shifts and the ways that creative writers and thinkers can contribute to and lead social conversations.
Outside the classroom, Professor Odelius is involved with the English club and in launching a new creative writing journal and reading series for North Park. She is an active poet herself, publishing her most recent work—Kiss the Stranger—in collaboration with poet Timothy Yu.
- PhD, English and Creative Writing, University of Illinois at Chicago
- MA, Theology, Wheaton College
- Kristy Odelius and Timothy Yu. Kiss the Stranger. Pittsburgh: Corollary Press, 2012.
- Kristy Odelius. Strange Trades. Bristol, England: Shearsman Books, 2008.
- Kristy Odelius. Bee Spit. Chicago: Dancing Girl Press, 2007.