Humans of JCU: Claire Luchette

Kathryn Mattimoe

“The people here are incredibly kind, and it is an uncommon kindness, in the sense that it seems so genuine,” Claire Luchette, a newer member of our JCU community, said. She is in her third year teaching creative writing courses in the English Department. 

Luchette grew up in both Cincinnati and Chicago, then headed off to college at Brown University in Rhode Island for her undergraduate English studies. “In undergrad, I was convinced writing couldn’t be a career. It just seemed too fanciful an idea and it seemed reserved only for the lucky people who wrote best-selling books,” Luchette said. 

After working a desk job at an office in New York, Luchette decided it was time to pursue her passion for fiction writing. “I worked at a boring office job and my favorite part of it was writing emails and having the space to put my voice into what I was doing,” she said. After this realization, she began applying to MFA programs around the country. 

After completing graduate school at the University of Oregon, she received an offer to teach at JCU. For her, teaching is the greatest arrangement a writer can have. “Teaching is a great way to be engaged with the world and unalienate yourself. Writing is such a lonely enterprise and unless you have an excuse to be around people, you oftentimes are not. Teaching is great, as it gives you a chance to interact and exchange ideas with people and also allows you time to work on your own projects as well.” 

Luchette said she has loved her time in Cleveland since moving here last August. “Cleveland is the first place that I haven’t wanted to be somewhere else. I immediately felt like I wanted to stay here, whereas everywhere else, I had been thinking of the last place I lived and wanting to go back,” she said. Luchette lives across the street from the Mayfield Cemetery, which she finds quite beautiful, and where she loves to run.

Luchette said she has loved both classes she has taught so far at JCU, including Introduction to Creative Writing and Introduction to Fiction Writing. This semester she is teaching Introduction to Social Justice Writing and Advanced Fiction Writing. Though she has enjoyed every class she has taught, she said she is partisan to her fiction classes, as that is where her heart really is. 

She has also been working on some projects of her own. “I just finished revising my first novel and turned it into my editor right when school started,” she said. She is now in the stages of a new and different project. “This project is going to be totally different, I wrote about nuns in my first novel, and now I want to write about the platonic opposite of nuns, people who live totally immoral lives.”