Michael Charles Carolan was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His writing was awarded an Atlantic Monthly prize and named “Notable” in the Best American Essays series and has appeared in publications like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, Springfield Republican, Nashville Review, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Kansas City Star and the Massachusetts Review. He edited a collection of memoirs translated from the Polish published in 2009, his audio essays appear on New England Public Radio.
Michael graduated from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas-Lawrence and the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He worked in Washington, D.C., environmental and health journalism and for the National Institutes of Health. He was a Heritage Writers Workshop Fellow in Fiction at George Mason University, and has taught at Marlboro College, the University of Massachusetts and Smith College. Today he is a Professor of Practice at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Teaching News from Clark University. Last spring (2020), students in Professor Carolan’s English 202, Imagining Place: Environmental, Health and Science Writing, went online because of the Coronavirus pandemic. That didn’t stop productivity. Six students published essays they wrote for the course in the Commentary section of the Sunday issues, May 2 and May 9, of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. See Cason Lee’s “Who’s Our Biggest Enemy” and Marlee Faranetta’s “Putting Our Lives on Hold.”
Students in Professor Carolan’s new course, English 102: From Cli-Fi to Frankenstein: Writing Climate Narrative, in Fall 2020 wrote essays on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. To help, the class heard guest lecturers on zoom: Professor Lisa Kasmer, English Department Chair, on Shelley, and Professor Esther Jones, who is serving as Dean of Faculty, on Butler.
Students in Professor Carolan’s course, English 101, Introduction to Creative Writing, write short stories and read and write critical papers on classic short fiction through the ages. In Fall 2020, they enjoyed a lecture from Professor James Elliott, who retires this spring after 50 years at Clark, on the beloved masterpiece of experimental fiction, Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.”