facultydetails | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Creative Writing (MFA) Faculty and Staff

Melanie Fox

Melanie Fox

Senior Lecturer
Hometown : Radford, VA
Joined Chatham : 2005


Although originally from the Midwest, Melanie Dylan Fox has lived in almost every region of the U.S., from the forests of the Pacific Northwest to the deserts of the Southwest to the Appalachians of western Virginia. Melanie spent many seasons working in California’s Sequoia National Park, a place that first inspired her journey into nonfiction writing. Her work has appeared in literary journals such as Bayou Magazine, Fourth Genre, and Flyway, and has been included in the anthologies American Nature Writing; Figuring Animals: Essays on Animal Images in Art, Literature, Philosophy, & Popular Culture; Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century; and Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life In Our National Parks. Her work has also earned her notable mention in Best American Essays and an AWP Intro Award. Trained as a fiction writer, she now writes narrative nonfiction which focuses on the intricacies of place and landscape, with particular emphasis on the portrayal of animals in science, folklore, and myth. At Chatham, Melanie teaches courses in creative nonfiction and nature writing. She has previously taught literature and writing courses on such topics as nature writing, travel writing, the craft of nonfiction, and ecofeminist literature. She has directed and served on MFA thesis committees in all genres of creative writing. She currently makes her home at the confluence of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains in the New River Valley of southwestern Virginia.


  • MA, Creative Writing, Iowa State University (Ames, IA), 2000
  • BA, English & French, Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) 1991


  • Rev. of Horizon’s Lens: My Time on the Turning World, by Elizabeth Dodd. Terrain.org 33 (Summer 2013): n. pag. Web.
  • “Giant Forest.” About Place Journal 2.2 (2013): n. pag. Web
  • “Sustenance.” Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century. Eds. Sheryl St. Germain and Margaret Whitford. Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press, 2011. 81-88. Print.
  • “Communion.” Permanent Vacation: Living and Working in Our National Parks. Ed. Kim Wyatt. Lake Tahoe: Bona Fide Books, 2011. 67-78. Print.
  • “The Real Reasons Why.” Bayou Magazine 50 (Winter 2008). 113-121. Print.
  • "Ursus Americanus: The Idea of a Bear." Figuring Animals: Essays on Animal Images in Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Popular Culture. Eds. Mary Sanders Pollack and Catherine Rainwater. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 37-48. Print.
  • "The Force of Fire." Flyway: A Literary Review 6.2 (Spring/Fall 2001). 48-51. Print.
  • “Nighthiking.” American Nature Writing (2001). Ed. John A. Murray. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. 152-162.
  • “Nighthiking.” Fourth Genre 2:2 (Spring 2000). 85-93. Print.


  • Notable Mention, Best American Essays 2001. Volume ed. Kathleen A. Norris, Series ed. Robert Atwan
  • Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Intro Award for Creative Nonfiction (1998)


  • The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE)
  • Associated Writing Programs (AWP)