Virginia Slachman

Lecturer in College Writing
PHD, University of Cincinnati
    View All People

    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • College Writing Program
    • MSC 1096-153-122
    • Washington University
    • 1 Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
    image of book cover

    Virginia Slachman is the author of three collections of poetry, a novel, and an award-winning chapbook in addition to her memoir, Many Brave Hearts, recounting her family's struggles with PTSD.

    Many Brave Hearts was recently selected as part of Ridley Scott's "Launch Pad" competition for presentation to Hollywood film executives looking for TV and film options. Former poetry editor of Aspen Anthology and associate director of the Aspen Writers Conference, Slachman’s work has received numerous fellowships and awards. A Pushcart-nominated poet, her work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, both in the U.S. and the U.K. She has served as a professor of creative writing and literature for over twenty years. 

    Featured Courses

    College Writing: Dreams & Nightmares

    This course is an opportunity to explore and experiment, to dwell in uncertainty and inquiry, and entertain confusion before resolution. Whether your area of interest is the psychology of dreams, monsters, memory, desire, cognition and neuroscience, or the underbelly of the American Dream, you will find room to interrogate subjects, both real and imagined, as well as texts and theories that destabilize categories, embody possibility, and threaten established order.

    Blood in the Bluegrass

    Blood in the Bluegrass

    "Horsewoman and novelist Virginia Slachman, captures the essence of why devotees of Thoroughbred racing are so enraptured by the majesty, courage and sensitivity of the animal. The author has crafted a fast-paced tale of mystery, highlighted by drugs, murder, love and family, against a backdrop of Bluegrass traditions. Action packed from the get-go and filled with unique characters, the book is hard to put down as it races headlong at full speed to the finish line."

                                       --Barry Irwin, Founder/CEO Team Valor International

    The Lost Ode

    The Lost Ode

    Literary scholar and amateur sleuth Julia has stumbled on a family secret . . . a secret steeped in the history of Kentucky’s thoroughbred country and linked to the descendants of poet John Keats and his brother George. When the owner of Brookfield Stud, Gray Burke, is arrested for homicide on his thoroughbred breeding farm, Julia is left to solve the murder and prove his innocence while following the trail to the Keats’s lost fortune. Solving the murder may lead to love and treasure, but has Julia back the wrong horse in believing Gray Burke’s innocence? This is a great book for horse lovers, literary and history lovers, and general as well as cozy mystery lovers. A little murder, a little love, and a lost fortune . . . what could be better?

    World of Mortal Light

    World of Mortal Light

    In her new book, World of Mortal Light, Virginia Slachman suggests that the art of poetry is “a thing made of paint and mind.” Indeed, in long, musical lines she vividly paints the “real world,” which is, she tells us, “a world of concept, still.” We find in “The Origin of the Work of Art,” for example, Heidegger, Van Gogh, and the poet’s dog Lily, a “little brown being in the dirt.”  Slachman moves with remarkable skill from one to another—philosopher, artist, animal—in a richly textured poetry that invites us, also, to contemplate “how the world worlds.”
                                                          --Allison Funk

    Many Brave Hearts: A Memoir

    Many Brave Hearts: A Memoir

    Many Brave Hearts is an unblinking, eloquent, deeply felt account of how war can shatter emotional lives and undermine our deepest bonds. Virginia Slachman has documented for us the story, not only of her family and its slow disintegration over the years, but a narrative powerfully representative of a collective American experience. In highly accomplished, skillful prose the book offers readers a fascinating double-narrative that enhances and illuminates both. Father and daughter speak not so much to each other as to their common experience and grief. It is a beautiful and devastating testament and it is redeemed, in the only way possible, with ultimate understanding and love.

    Inside Such Darkness

    Inside Such Darkness

    If some books try to imitate the world and others merely listen to it, Virginia Slachman's second collection actively confronts what she calls "the August-heat, rolled-down-windows, drive-by bitch of a life."  Inside Such Darkness is an ardent collection of prayers, arguments, and pointed questions.  Slachman's approach is bold and unrelenting, her rhythms vibrant with the energy of thought.  "It takes work to see," she tells us, and her fierce engagement with the reality of loss and the limited consolations we are offered gives these poems a brilliance that cuts through the dark.
                                                                 --Don Bogen

    Heidegger’s Temple

    Heidegger’s Temple

    Heidegger’s Temple offers layers of metaphor, exquisitely composed, that beckon us to ponder new ideas and complex states of feeling as sensuous discoveries, freshly illumined philosophic landscapes where order doesn’t depend on the centrality of the human. Slachman is not content with art as allusion merely; instead she imaginatively inhabits a given sensibility, making that way of seeing palpable. The artist most deeply alive in this collection is Rainer Maria Rilke; his tragic sense of death as life’s most basic process fits well with Slachman’s edgier voice and her vigilant resistance to unearned harmonies.
                                                                 --Beth Ash