2019 Viola Award Finalist for Excellence in the Arts Education
Allison Gruber is an educator and writer who, for over a decade, has taught courses in composition, creative writing, and the humanities at both the college and secondary level. She holds a BA in English from Carthage College and an MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in a myriad of literary journals including The Sonora Review, Brevity, The Literary Review, The Huffington Post, and decomP. She has been nominated for Pushcarts, Best of the Net, and her debut collection of essays, You’re Not Edith, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. She is also a regular contributor to Flagstaff Live’s Letters From Home series.
At Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA) she teaches AP Literature and Composition, Creative Writing, and World Literature. In all of her courses, students engage with challenging ideas and texts, learn to take risks as thinkers and writers, and discover ways to find meaningful connections with prose, plays, and poetry from the past and present.
She encourages students to be active participants in their own creative life through publishing, taking part in publicreadings(including the annual FALA Creative Writing Class reading at Bright Side Bookshop), collaboration with other classes, and participation in competitions like Poetry Out Loud. (In 2018, her student, Emma Collier, was a finalist in the Poetry Out Loud state competition.)
She brings her experience as a working writer into the classroom, using her own creative successes and failures as teachable examples for burgeoning creative writers. Allison provides a classroom experience where students are comfortable taking risks, and where young people learn to be honest and authentic in articulating their emotions and ideas aloud and in writing.