Michael Theune

Associate Professor of English


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 170: Poetry through Performance
English 202: Writing Poetry
English 301: Creative Writing Seminar (poetry)
English 344: Romantic Literature
English 370: Issues in Contemporary American Poetry

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

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.