Serena Chopra, PhD

Serena Chopra, PhD

PhD, Creative Writing; MFA, Creative Writing

Assistant Professor, English/Creative Writing

Phone: 206-296-5420

Building/Room: Casey 510


Serena Chopra is a writer, dancer, filmmaker and a visual and performance artist. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver and is a MacDowell Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow, a RedLine Artist In-Residence and a Fulbright Scholar (Bangalore, India). Her third book, Dayawati, Of Mercy,is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2026. She has two films, Dogana/Chapti (2019, Official Selection at Frameline43 and Seattle Queer Film Festival) and Mother Ghosting(2018). She was a featured artist in Harper's Bazaar (India), Revry,as well as in the Denver Westword’s“100 Colorado Creatives.” She has recent publications with The Academy of American Poets, Burrow Press Review, Sink, Foglifter, and the anthology Alone Together: Love , Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 (Washington State Book Award, 2021). She also has critical essays in Matters of Feminist Practice (Belladonna Collective, 2019), Rehearsing Racial Equity: A Critical Anthology on Anti-Racism and Repair in the Arts (Amherst College Press, forthcoming 2024) and in the republication of Judy Grahn’s The Highest Apple: Sappho and the Lesbian Poetic Tradition (Sinister Wisdom, Fall 2023). In October 2020, Serena co-directed  No Place to Go, an artist-made queer haunted house with Kate Speer and Frankie Toan. 

Dr. Chopra's third book  Dayawati, Of Mercy is an interdisciplinary (film and text) poetic memoir about familial lineages of domestic violence, the prairie and resilience. Her current research interests include trauma writing, queer forms and expressions as capital-colonial resistance, rhizomes, the problematics of neoliberal healing narratives, and tracing historiographies of poetic thought. As a poet and interdisciplinary artist, Dr. Chopra's teaching interests approach creative composition through interdisciplinary and hybrid modalities. Her students explore poetic resonance and poignancy through various mediums and disciplines, such as text, film/moving image, sound, dance/movement, photography, collage and performance art, etc. 

Her courses align creative composition with intersectional queer and feminist studies, offering students a critical and embodied creative experience that inspires profound student projects, including the production of chapbook-length manuscripts at the upper-division level. The theoretical and historiographical gestures of her courses serve to invite students into significant ongoing conversations related to creativity, identity, positionality and social impact, and engage students with inspired lineages and a contemporary scope for their critical and creative work. Dr. Chopra's classes teach aesthetic, craft and formal principles and tools, but also help students develop trust and confidence in their innate and intuitive embodied practices, allowing them to access the poignant possibilities below the narrative's surface. 

Rather than emphasizing rules towards technical perfection, Dr. Chopra guides students through their own poetic and visionary concerns, concentrating on strengthening creativity, voice and critical perspectives. She encourages students to engage multi-disciplinary experiments and practices, guiding them to encounter their creative visions as dynamic, expressive potential.