Maria Hummel is a professor in the English department who specializes in creative writing. She is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and has written four novels, most recently Still Lives (2018) and Lesson in Red (2021). Her next novel, Goldenseal, is forthcoming in 2024. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, The Sun, The New York Times, and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine.
My first novel was inspired by cellar holes and stone foundations in the Vermont woods and me wondering who lived there, around the time of the Civil War. My second novel arose from family letters hidden in an attic wall in Germany after World War II. My third came from working in an art museum in Los Angeles, at a time when there were many high-profile murders of women. Reese Witherspoon picked Still Lives for her book club, and I’ve sold the TV rights to Hollywood. Lesson in Red continues the series by following a mysterious death at a California art school.