MFA in Fiction Writing
BA in English and Interdisciplinary Studies Field, Phi Beta Kappa
Marisa began to teach and tutor writing over ten years ago. She brings a deep focus on individual experience to her programs, using exploratory exercises to encourage students to think about their subjects from multiple perspectives. When crafting and editing work, Marisa helps her students understand how style shapes and supports content.
At the college and graduate level, Marisa has taught at prestigious writing programs including Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Iowa’s Creative Writing Studio. The courses she has taught include Composition, Writing Memory, The Art of Nonfiction, Writing Character Across Boundaries, Engaging with Foreign Worlds, Poetry, and Fiction.
While Marisa has guided graduate writing students in their thesis work, she has also taught younger students who struggle with reading comprehension, writing, and analysis. She works with students in middle school through adulthood on academic writing, memoir, personal essays, lyric essays, travel writing, literary journalism, fiction, and poetry. With her experience as a memoirist and as a teacher of personal writing, Marisa is a particularly gifted admission essay coach. She helps students draw meaning from their memories and personal history and then works with them to craft unique essays in their voices.
As a journalist, Marisa brings light to stories that have been overlooked or ignored. She has traveled extensively through Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, and South America. Marisa was a foreign correspondent in India and Nepal for the San Francisco Chronicle, and her articles in culture, news, art, and business have been published by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Earth Island Journal, Salon.com, and Alternet.
Her memoir Loyal to the Sky (2007) won the Nautilus Gold Award for World-Changing Books in 2008. In 2010, she received a Fulbright fellowship in Creative Writing to work on a novel in India. Marisa has published across genres in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction and is also a singer/songwriter.
Marisa tutors students in literary analysis, academic writing, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, journalism, and admission essays. Her rate is $200 per hour.