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AU English instructor named writer-in-residence for the Hemingway-Pfeifer Museum


Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh, a writer and instructor at Ashland University, is obsessed with women left out of historical narratives.

“Paula McLain has done a fantastic job of bringing us into the lives of Hadley and Martha, Hemingway’s first and third wives,” said Kelly-Harbaugh, a Cleveland resident who teaches 100-level English courses at AU, also at incarcerated students. ‘Maggie O’Farrell broke my heart when I told stories about Shakespeare’s wife and children. Even the musical ‘Six’ recently united the stories of Henry VIII’s wives. Most of us don’t even realize that these threads are missing from the history we are taught.”

Kelly-Harbaugh hopes to learn more about Ernest Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, in June as a writer-in-residence at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center (HPMEC) in Piggott, Arkansas.

Pfeiffer was an American journalist and another overlooked woman in history, said Kelly-Harbaugh, who added that she looks forward to discovering how Pfeiffer’s life and legacy affected her infamous husband.

“The residency will give Kelly-Harbaugh the opportunity to live and work in the Piggott community for a month, sharing her knowledge and experience with local writers and working on her own writings,” said HPMEC Director Shannon Williams in a story. published on Talk Business & Politics, a news website covering Arkansas business, politics and culture.

According to the HPMEC website, the mission of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center is to contribute to the regional, national and global understanding of the 1920s and 1930s by focusing on the internationally connected Pfeiffer family of Piggott in Northeast Arkansas, and their son-in-law, Hemingway.

The HPMEC, Arkansas State University’s first heritage site, opened in July 1999 for the national celebration of Hemingway’s 100th birthday and includes a barn that was converted into a studio in the 1930s to give Hemingway privacy to write when he Piggott visited.

Christian Kiefer, director of Ashland University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program (MFA), said HPMEC is very fortunate to have Kelly-Harbaugh on board in June.

“Annmarie is one of the fiercest and best writers (the MFA) program has had the pleasure of working with,” Kiefer said. ‘I’m sure she taught me more than I taught her.

“Now I wonder what she’ll write about in Hemingway’s old barn studio,” he added.

Connecting with writers from the Ashland MFA program who encourage each other to submit to journals, awards and conferences, she was selected as the HPMEC writer-in-residence, Kelly-Harbaugh said.

“We were on our way to our February check-in and I hadn’t sent a letter yet,” she added. “I will let myself down, but I won’t let my friends down. So I scanned that week’s deadlines and discovered the opportunity for Hemingway-Pfeiffer.”

In addition to this latest opportunity, Kelly-Harbaugh was also recently named the 2024 Erma Bombeck and Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence in Dayton, Ohio, and hosts a literary podcast about making the most of the time we have in our lives and has many of her writings have been published, including a book “Here Be Dragons: A Parent’s Guide to Rediscovering Purpose, Adventure and the Unfathomable Joy of the Journey.”

“The book made me happy,” she says. “I wrote it together with my husband. We worked late into the night and found so many new stories to discuss and laugh about.

Kelly-Harbaugh, who is working on another book about the truth in the lies people tell, said she especially enjoys meeting people in the writing world.

“I have been fortunate to write with brilliant people all over the world,” she said. “In 2022, the Ashland MFA hosted a week-long residency in Siena, Italy. That was a real mountaintop experience.

“And the stories keep coming,” she continued. “What a gift.”

While many students end up in her English classes at AU not because they have a real desire to take American literature or composition, but because someone else has handed them a list and declared her courses necessary, Kelly-Harbaugh said that she enjoys working with them as much as she does. does with fellow writers.

“I take that as a source of motivation and a challenge, and I embrace my job as part cheerleader, part teacher, part mother, part taskmaster and part advocate,” she said.

“I am a versatile instructor,” she added. “In addition to college courses, I have taught fiction classes for the Cleveland Public Library, creative nonfiction for Literary Cleveland, memoir workshops for Lit Youngstown, language arts classes at various high schools, and participated in professional conferences and panels across the country.

“I have worked with students as young as 13 and with retirees as young as 90,” she continued. “I feel comfortable teaching undergraduates, graduates, and all types of continuing students.”

As a writer-in-residence next month in Arkansas, her versatility as an instructor and writer will increase. The month-long experience includes serving as a mentor at a writers’ retreat June 17-21.