Associate Professor of English and Chair of English
Ph.D., English literature, Northwestern University
M.F.A, Creative Writing, New York University
Courses Frequently Taught:
English 101: Introduction to Creative Writing
English 132: The Healing Art: Illness and Recovery in Literature and Film
English 202: Writing Poetry
English 243: English Poetry, 1500-1700
English 280: Understanding Literature
English 301: Seminar in Creative Writing (poetry)
English 342: Renaissance Literature
English 480: Senior Seminar
Ragdale Artist Residency, 2016
Kimmel Harding Nelson Residency, 2015
Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, 2013
NEA Fellowship, 2009
Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship, 2005
Reading and Writing about Literature: A Portable Guide, 4th Edition, co-edited with Janet E. Gardner (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2016)
The Little Magazine in Contemporary America, co-edited with Ian Morris (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
My Favorite Tyrants, winner of the 2013 Brittingham Prize in Poetry (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014)
The Lessons, winner of the 2009 Gerald Cable Book Award (Silverfish Review Press, 2011)
Articles and Poems
“The Future of the University Quarterly,” co-written with Ian Morris. Inside Higher Ed, February 16, 2015.
“Complaint.” Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, fourth edition, 2012.
“The Digital Archive as a Tool for Close Reading in the Undergraduate Literature Course.” Pedagogy Volume 12, issue 3 (2012)
Poems published in AGNI, American Poetry Review, At Length, DIAGRAM, The Massachusetts Review, Missouri Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, The Southern Review, and Third Coast.
Tenured, at IWU since 2008; next sabbatical, 2022-23
Professional and Personal:
As a teacher, I have two goals: I aim to help students develop their interpretive skills so that they can enjoy the provocations of literary texts, and I encourage students to see both creative and analytical writing as integral parts of their development as learners. I hope that my students develop their own interests while at the same time writing their best creative work and learning about the unique attributes of literary texts.
I am both a poet and a scholar. In my poetry, I use a style that is based on a principle of inclusion, one that allows me to write long, discursive lines which connect popular culture with political concerns, cross many geographies and time periods, and use a variety of rhetorical strategies to explore charged emotional material. In my scholarship, I focus on English Renaissance complaint poetry, a mode of expression that absorbed the language and rituals of both auricular confession and the emergent juridical language of English courts to create a poetics of dissatisfaction in the period.