• Director, Oberlin Writers in the Schools
  • Lecturer in Creative Writing


  • Master of Fine Arts, Cornell University, 1980
  • Bachelor of Arts, Carson-Newman College, 1977


Lynn Powell is director of Oberlin WITS (Writers in the Schools), a program that engages Oberlin students in teaching creative writing in local schools. As lecturer in creative writing, she also teaches a range of poetry courses in the Creative Writing Program.

Powell is the author of two books of poetry, Old & New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise, and a book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence: A Mother’s Photographs, A Prosecutor’s Zeal, and a Small Town’s Response.

Her newest book, Season of the Second Thought (University of Wisconsin Press), is part of the Wisconsin Poetry Series. Set for release in fall 2017, it has received the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry.

Her poems have been published in numerous journals, including the Paris Review, the Georgia Review, Poetry, FIELD, and Shenandoah. Her work has also appeared in anthologies, including 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday and the Norton Introduction to Literature.

Powell worked as a writer in the schools for over 20 years—in grades K-12, in urban, suburban, and rural schools—for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. Drawing on that expertise, Powell created Oberlin’s Teaching Imaginative Writing workshop, CRWR 450, a community-based learning course in which Oberlin students work collaboratively with her in poetry residencies in the Oberlin public schools.

Publications and Presentations

Season of the Second Thought

Awards and Recognition

Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry for her upcoming book, Season of the Second Thought

Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the New Writers Award of the Great Lakes Colleges Association for the poetry book, Old & New Testaments

Her book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence: A Mother’s Photographs, A Prosecutor’s Zeal, and a Small Town’s Response received the Studs and Ida Terkel Author Award from the New Press.

Powell has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for her poetry, and from the Ohio Arts Council (three for her poetry and one for her prose).