Ph.D., University of Tulsa, 1976
M.A., Fort Hays Kansas State, 1967
Courses Frequently Taught
Gateway: Explorers in Creativity
English 170: The Anti-Hero
English 201: Writing Fiction
English 220: Classic Fiction
English 301: Seminar in Creative Writing: The Short Story Cycle
English 355: Autobiography
English 401: Senior Writing Project
English 480: Senior Seminar
Selected Professional Experience/Awards
Department Chair, Chair of Illinois Writers, Inc. Board; Member of READ ILLINOIS Board; Judge and Consultant for numerous state and regional arts awards; Associate Editor of Clockwatch Review
(Illinois State University), Nimrod
; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Graduate Faculty Member (ISU); as well as the recipient of numerous faculty grants for research, curriculum development, and information technology.
Benchmark: Anthology of Contemporary Poetry in Illinois
, Co-Edited with Jim McGowan, Stormline Press, distributed by University of Illinois Press; A Look Inside the War: A Study Guide to Writings About the Vietnam War,
Editor and Creative Consultant, for the state of Illinois, Secretary of State, and State Librarian; Literary critical articles in The Journal of Modern Literature, James Joyce Quarterly, Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, Jack London Newsletter
; Under consideration: A Feast of Light
(a novel); In progress: Liner Notes:A Fictional Autobiography and A Practical Handbook for Writing Fiction
(A textbook for teaching creative writing in fiction).
Tenured, at IWU since 1988; next leave, 2011-12
My philosophy as an artist and teacher is fairly simplistic. To borrow the metaphor of a photographer: when we can locate a separate space from our routines of the daily grind and become receptive and open in eye and mind for just an instant, there’s a gift waiting at every corner. And in that moment of recognition born of intuition and an awareness beyond the recording of surface, we transform the reality and remake it in our own image and vision. This is self-realization that not only satisfies beyond celebrity and fortune, but allows our own senses of beauty to emerge and be shared. Inquisitiveness, exploration, experiment—the creative process—informs what I do professionally and personally. Photography, desktop publishing and design (I’ve created my own imprint—Akatriel Press), learning to play guitar, woodworking, or being a professional golf club maker signal my direction in the study of ideas, writing, and critical inquiry.