Katie Burpo, M.F.A.

“Literature encapsulates the human experience, and through the study of great texts, we develop empathy, cultivate curiosity, and grow into sensitive, productive contributors to the world around us. In my classroom, I emphasize the value of personal expression, both in conversation and writing, and encourage students to embrace the potential of the liberal arts education.”


Lecturer of English

Educational Background

  • M.F.A., Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, MI
  • B.A., Depauw University – Newcastle, IN

Year joined Franklin



First and second year composition; creative writing including fiction and creative non-fiction; dramatic literature from ancient to contemporary

What is your most urgent goal when teaching writing?

I want my students to understand the importance of clear, precise writing as part of their overall persona – in the workplace, on social media, and more. We use text to communicate on a daily basis, often in very public arenas, and presenting a polished image to the world at large means communicating with confidence and accuracy.

What do you hope students will take away when they read a challenging text?

My sincere desire is to confront my students with viewpoints that both validate and contradict their own, and to help them navigate the thrilling, rewarding journey of expanding their knowledge of the world around them. This process of investigating new intellectual territory is the cornerstone of the liberal arts education.

Selected Professional Accomplishments


“A Small Town Vigil” in Barely South, Vol. 4, April 2011
“For Fun, For Keeps” in Specs, Vol. 4, Fall 2011

Creative Non-Fiction
“A Series of Wilderness Related Injuries” in Chautauqua, Vol. 8, Fall 2011

Review of In Envy Country by Joan Frank in Third Coast, Vol. 32, Spring 2011
“A Remedy for the Analytical Blues: Thesis Statements as Vehicles of Discovery” in Writing Beyond the Rules: Juxtaposition, Disruption, and Multiple Genres, Joyce R. Walker and Kristin Denslow, Ed., Western Michigan University Department of English, © 2009

What Students Say

“I can cite Professor Burpo’s class as one of a handful of classes that I do not want to end after a semester. I love the relaxed learning atmosphere she creates that encourages me to push myself for a well thought out analysis of the material. She is talented at guiding discussion to a productive and collective understanding of our texts, and I am leaving her class with a better understanding of how to do that for myself.” – Kelsey Strouse ’16

In My Spare Time…

In my spare time, I enjoy making a huge mess in my tiny kitchen while testing out new recipes. Food is an intellectual topic as vast and intriguing as literature, and I love learning about international cuisine and cooking for friends and family. After years of experimentation, I recently perfected my recipe for macaroni and cheese, which marks the achievement a of lifetime goal.