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Dr. Hayley Mitchell Haugen
July 02, 2018 : New Book by Southern Campus Professor Set for Fall Release
An associate professor of English at Ohio University Southern has a new book of poetry scheduled to be released this fall.Dr. Hayley Mitchell Haugen’s new full-length collection, Light & Shadow, Shadow & Light, is forthcoming in September from Main Street Rag Publishing Company of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Haugen, who holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Ohio University and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Washington, teaches composition, American Literature, and creative writing. When she is not in the classroom, she is writing or editing new work.
“I sometimes jokingly refer to myself as a west coast confessional poet,” Haugen said.She describes her poetry as stemming from personal experience.Many of the poems in Haugen’s first full-length collection, Light & Shadow, Shadow & Light, “remain highly personal, inspired by loss and a persona who has a generally dark but sometimes hopeful view of the world, Haugen said.The new collection contains broader social themes than her chapbook, What the Grimm Girl Looks Forward To from Finishing Line Press (2016).
This fall, Haugen will be on sabbatical from the Southern Campus through December.She will use the time away from teaching to focus entirely on new poetry.The book she will be working on, The Blue Wife Poems, is in its very early stages. “Some of the poems will focus on my personal experience with depression, but many will also be informed by more of an historical view of depression and the treatment of women with depression in particular,” Haugen said.
Haugen began researching depression earlier this year and arranged to visit the archives at the National Museum of Psychology in Akron, Ohio during the summer. “This will be the first time that I have conducted archival research for my creative work, and I am very excited about the trip,” she said.
Balancing a full time teaching and advising load at the Southern Campus and family life with writing can sometimes be daunting, Haugen said.“The best advice I can give to bi-vocational writers and writers/teachers in particular is to just forget the idea that it is possible to balance everything,” she said. Haugen admits she is more productive now that she’s taking this approach. “I’ve learned to quickly assess what my daily priorities are, whether they be prepping for lectures, grading papers, sending poems out for publication, or writing.”
Originally from California, Haugen moved to Appalachia in 2001 to pursue her doctoral degree and teach at Ohio University in Athens. She says teaching students in rural Ohio has had a profound effect on my teaching. “My Appalachian students have taught me so much. I know I am a better teacher because of them,” Haugen said.
Haugen’s poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Chiron Review, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, Spillway and many other journals.

(Sample of Haugen’s work from Light & Shadow, Shadow & Light on the following page from: )
When he takes the bed
I am left with the headboard, the baseboard,
the cold metal rails in between. I set up camp
in the middle – sleeping bag, feather down,
extra pillows at the edges to prevent my rolling,
colliding with the bars – I could be
a four-year-old, but I try not to think of fours:
the anniversaries I could have had, the child
who would be walking, the four years clouding over
in the haze of unmet expectations, four years
that become like distance – harder to latch onto,
a train I missed over and over again. I could be three,
already delighting in memory: last week’s carousel,
spinning like my top, my music box playing
the same soft melody. Or one, a child in a room
of heavy shadows, no words for alone, for leaving,
my body’s growth and gurglings its own sweet comfort.
The retreat, I find, is easy, and I am shrinking further still,
curling up around myself, hard and rounded,
like a nut in a thick, tight shell.
-Hayley Mitchell Haugen, Light & Shadow, Shadow & Light
Mainstreet Rag Publishing Company.