School navigation

Northwest Writing Institute (NWI)

Joanne Mulcahy

  • Profile Image
    Copyright, Steve Hambuchen

Rogers Hall

Joanne B. Mulcahy teaches creative nonfiction, ethnographic writing and humanities CORE classes at theNW Writing Institute. She holds degrees in comparative literature (B.A.), cultural anthropology (M.A), and folklore (Ph.D). For over a decade, she taught courses in anthropology and gender studies in Lewis and Clark’s College of Arts and Sciences. She has facilitated workshops in numerous other settings, including the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, the Hudson Valley Writer’s Center, the American Folklore Society, the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, N. Ireland, Oregon public libraries, and Alaska and Oregon Corrections facilities.

Mulcahy’s writing explores cultural issues through memoir, personal essay, biography, and ethnography. She has conducted field research on Kodiak Island, Alaska, in Northern Ireland, Michoacan, Mexico, and throughout Oregon. She moved to Oregon to serve as Director of the Oregon Folk Arts Program from 1988-91. In that position, she documented cultural traditions, wrote articles and created exhibits to bring vernacular traditions to public attention. Her commitment to collaborative models of writing and public presentation includes the people she writes about and communities in the representation of their own cultures.

Mulcahy is the author of two books about traditional healers, Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island and Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz. Her essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Stories that Shape Us: Contemporary Women Write about the WestResurrecting Grace: Remembering Catholic ChildhoodsWomen Writing Women: A Frontiers Reader, and These United States. Her awards include fellowships from The Oregon Institute of Literary Arts, the New Letters nonfiction prize, and grants from The British Council, the Alaska Humanities Forum, and the Oregon Council for the Humanities. She has held writing residencies at Caldera, the Espy Foundation, Hedgebrook, the Island Institute, The Mesa Refuge, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and UCross.

Mulcahy will be on leave from January through August 2013 on a Fulbright fellowship to Mexico, where she will teach creative nonfiction and document a women’s health care project in Michoacan.

Share this profile on


Joanne Mulcahy’s office is located in room 424 of Rogers Hall.


voice 503-768-6167

Joanne Mulcahy Assistant Professor

Northwest Writing Institute Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 100 Portland OR 97219 USA

45.4451229714821; -122.671580079346