image by David Wittig


Mischa Willett ( Michael David Willett; born 1978 in Phoenix, Arizona) is the critically-acclaimed author of the poetry book Phases, as well as of essays, translations, and reviews that appear in both popular and academic journals. A specialist in nineteenth century aesthetics, he teaches English at Seattle Pacific University.


Formal Education

Willett has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College (2000), a Master of Arts degree cum laude from Northern Arizona University (2003), a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Washington (2006) and a Ph.D. from University of Washington (2012).

Academic Career

Willett has taught writing and literature for Northern Arizona University, the University of Washington, Northwest University, and the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany where he was Scholar-in-Residence in 2011-2012. He has been an assistant lecturer or writer-in-residence for study abroad trips to Rome through several universities. Currently he serves on the faculty at Seattle Pacific University, where he directs the Ascent Program for academically under-prepared students, and serves as Faculty Adviser for Lingua, the campus art journal.

Willett’s scholarly focus is on nineteenth-century aesthetics, particularly typologies of failure that recur in Romantic poetry, and, more recently, on the Spasmodic Poets who stylistically and chronologically followed the Romantics.


Willett has spoken at the annual gatherings of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), the NU Faith in Humanities Conference, and Mockingbird NYC, among others. See his speaking schedule here.


Courses regularly taught include: Expository Writing, Romanticism, Shakespeare, Research Writing, Victorian Literature, C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, Introduction to Poetry, and Creative Writing. View some sample course descriptions here.


In addition to Phases (Cascade Books, 2017) and the forthcoming critical edition of Philip James Bailey’s Festus (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), Willett writes translations, scholarly articles, essays, and reviews. His poems have appeared in journals including Rio Grande Review, Saint Katherine Review, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Mockingbird, BoneShaker, Lines+Stars, Mare Nostrum, Inch Magazine, and elsewhere. His essays have been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Books and Culture, Comment Magazine, Monarch Review, Millions, and Front Porch Republic, among others. His scholarly writing on the Spasmodic and Romantic poets has been published in Victorian Literature and Culture, Victoriographies, Romantic Circles, and elsewhere. A full publication list is available here.

Willett is host of the podcast Poems for the People.


He is married to the dancer and choreographer Amber Willett, and they have two children, Lucca and Sebastian.

The Latest

To hear the stories behind the poems, be notified about new essays, and receive invitations to readings, please sign up for an occassional missive here


Press Release for Phases

Author Page at Wipf and Stock Publishers

Author Page at Amazon

Lecture Video from a talk given at Northwest University, 2015.

Video Clip from poetry reading