In 2011, Rachael received her MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University–a program which not only emphasizes writing craft but also field work and environmental engagement. The concept of “Place-Based Education” has been central to Rachael’s work as a writer, an educator, and a community organizer.
At her core, Rachael is an explorer who loves learning, listening, and observing. She loves meeting new people, trying new foods, and learning new places. In the years since graduate school, Rachael has lived in an intentional community on the border of a wilderness area in Washington’s North Cascades, worked on an organic farm in Maine, road-tripped across Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia, hiked 180 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, and led students on backpacking trips in North Cascade National Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. These experiences have taught her about stewardship, sustainability, leave-no-trace-ethics, risk management, and reverence—shaping who she has become as an explorer, a guest, a traveler, a community member, a teacher, and a writer.
Rachael’s essays and poems have appeared in The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pank, The Collagist, Creative Nonfiction, Diagram, and Redivider, among other journals. Her essay “Crossings” was nominated for a Pushcart prize.