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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Alumna receives notable mention in ‘Best American Essays’

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock alumna has received a notable mention in “The Best American Essays of 2013″ with her essay “We Scar, We Heal, We Rise.”

bestamericanpoetryErin Wood graduated from UALR in 2009 with a master’s degree in Professional and Technical Writing, with a nonfiction writing focus.

Wood’s piece grew out of a classroom assignment in Dr. Toran Isom’s class, “Writing for Children, Adolescents, and Families,” according to Wood.

“Our semester culminated in writing a children’s book, and I wrote mine about scars,” said Wood.

“The scars that I speak about are corporeal scars,” she said. “Scars of the body. Although certainly there are emotional aspects closely tied to those physical scars.”

During and after graduate school, Wood taught Composition 1 at UALR. She said one of her most popular assignments was when students wrote about their own physical scars.

“Everyone has a scar story,” she said.

The piece is published at anderbo.com.

Since graduating from UALR, Wood has fulfilled many professional roles, from freelance writer to managing editor for the academic journal, Literature and Medicine, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. The journal was formerly sponsored by the UALR Department of Rhetoric and Writing.

Wood is currently editing an anthology of nonfiction and poetry related to scars of the body, to be published in the fall of 2014 by Et Alia Press, the publishing company she owns and runs with two partners.

Wood has also taught professional writing workshops and tutored students at The Clinton School of Public Service. This spring, she is teaching the course “Literature and Medicine” as a fourth-year elective at UAMS.

She has also volunteered to teach writing at the Wrightsville Correctional Facility near Pine Bluff, alongside Drs. Julie Steel, Michael Kleine, David Montague, and Charles Chastain of UALR.

Wood is currently working on a short story collection.