Michael Theune

Professor of English and University Writing Program Director


Ph.D., University of Houston, 2002
M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1996
B.A., Oxford University, 1994
B.A., Hope College, 1992

Courses Frequently Taught:
Gateway 100: S.W.A.T. (Sass, Wit, and Text)
English 101: Introduction to Creative Writing
English 109: Slamming, Jamming, Understanding: Poetry through Performance
English 202: Writing Poetry
English 301: Creative Writing Seminar (poetry)
English 344: Romantic Literature
English 370: Issues in Contemporary American Poetry


Work included in The Best of the AWP Pedagogy Papers 2009.
Sigma Tau Delta’s Eugene W. Hughes Outstanding Sponsor, 2007-2008.
Illinois Wesleyan University Student Senate Professor of the Year, 2007-2008.
Marshall Scholar, 1992-1994.

Selected Publications
Structure & Surprise: Engaging Poetic Turns. Ed.  New York: Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 2007.
—“The Quarrelsome Poem.”  Mentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets.  Southern Illinois University Press, forthcoming.
—“Poetic Structure and Poetic Form: The Necessary Differentiation.” American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets.  32 (Spring, 2007): 9-12.
—“Orthoparadoxy” (aphorisms).  The Iowa Review.  31.1 (Spring/Summer 2000): 167-170; 30.2 (Fall 2000): 119-122; 30.3 (Winter 2000-2001): 169-172.
—Poems in Alaska Review Quarterly, American Literary Review, American Poet, The New Republic, Pindeldyboz, The Texas Review, and elsewhere.

Faculty Status:
Tenured, at IWU since 2002; next leave, 2015-16.

Professional and Personal:
I write poetry and criticism.  I currently am involved in an extended collaborative project, writing poems inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions.  My criticism has two main focuses: an investigation of hybrid poetry and poetics, and an effort to increase attention to poetic turns in the reading and writing of poetry.  I am a contributing editor at Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, where I have published numerous essay-reviews on trends in contemporary American poetry.  As a teacher, I value and promote active engagement and creative risk.  When not immersed in the above, I watch movies, dabble with abstract painting, jog, bike, rock climb, and read and drink coffee at the Coffee Hound.