Profile: Kristin Van Tassel
Teacher of Writing & Literature
Kristin Van Tassel teaches writing and American literature at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Her essays and articles on place, ecology, literature, teaching, and travel have appeared in The Journal of Ecocriticism, ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment), The Chronicle Review, Transitions Abroad, and World Hum. Her poetry has appeared in The Land Report, Relief, and Mamazine.
NoteStreams By Kristin Van Tassel
Her official title was faculty sponsor. But in the confusion of post-Katrina New Orleans, Kristin Van Tassel realized the slippery nature of the roles we all play.
Although known first as a novelist, humorist, and regionalist, Mark Twain was a prolific travel writer as well. He wrote five travel books: The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), A Tramp Abroad (1880), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and Following the Equator (1897).
Kristin Van Tassel considers two books about Mark Twain, arguably America's greatest traveler -- and travel writer.
Stories can help us face the anxieties and uncertainties of being human. And the people who tell these stories can also challenge us, or inspire us, to learn again what it means to live in this world.
An 81-year-old Mexican writer, a literary luminary speaking English in her home country—and a young student who loves her—showed me what it means to speak with courage, to take a risk, to offer language to another as a gift.