Our Alumni - Their Accomplishments     

Rita Mae Reese, M.A. 2003 - Rita Mae Reese, after changing majors every semester, dropped out of college and went to work for a lesbian press. She’d worked there for nearly seven years when a visiting author convinced her to quit and go back to school full time. She then earned a BA in American Studies and an MA in Creative Writing at Florida State University and then an MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rita Mae has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Stegner fellowship, and a “Discovery”/The Nation award. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her family.

 

Russ Franklin, Ph.D. 2000 - Russ is a Wallace Stegner and a Truman Capote fellow in fiction at Stanford University. His short stories have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Epoch, and Greensboro Review. He is a winner of the Quarterly West, novella competition. His short story "Night Flying" is anthologized in Air Fare: Stories, Poems and Essays on Flight.

 

Charlie Sweet, Ph.D. 1970 - Charlie Sweet, Ph.D., is a Foundation Professor of English and Theatre and Associate Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Eastern Kentucky University. He has co-authored two books on pedagogy, It Works for Me! and It Works for Me, Too!, as well as a collection of mystery stories, Bloody Ground: Stories of Mystery and Intrigue from Kentucky and Private Eyes: A Writer's Guide to Private Investigating.

 

Kim Garcia, M.A. 1996 - Kim Garcia is the recipient of an AWP Intro Writing Award, a Hambidge Fellowship and an Oregon Individual Artist Grant. Her poetry collection Madonna Magdalene was published by Turning Point Books in the fall of 2006. Her work has appeared in The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Atlanta Review, Rosebud, Nimrod, Cimarron Review, Mississippi Review, Brightleaf, Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops, Negative Capability, and Lullwater Review. She currently teaches creative writing at Boston College.

 

Stephen Graham Jones, Ph.D. 1998 - Stephen’s dissertation was his first novel, The Fast Red Road, followed by the books, All the Beautiful Sinners, The Bird is Gone, Bleed Into Me: A Book of Stories, Demon Theory and upcoming in 2008, the novel Ledfeather. His over ninety stories have appeared everywhere, from Writing Fiction to The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. A past NEA Fellow, Texas Writers League Fellow, and winner of the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction, Stephen twice won a President's Book award when he was Associate Professor of English at Texas Tech University. He is currently a Professor of English at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

 

Susan E. Colón, Ph.D. 2002 - Dr. Colón was an Associate Professor of Literature in the Honors Program and Associate Dean of the Honors College at Baylor University until her tragic death in 2012. Her research focused on Victorian literature, religion, and ethics, in particular the relationship between theology and literary form. Her last book, Victorian Parables (Continuum, 2012), explored how the synoptic parables are reinscribed in the fiction of Charles Dickens, Margaret Oliphant, and Charlotte Yonge. Colón's first book, The Professional Ideal in Victorian Fiction (Palgrave 2007), considered how Victorian novels theorized, configured, and challenged professional ideals such as autonomy, mentorship, meritocracy, and the service ethic.

 

Erica Cameron, B.S. 2007 - Erica knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn't her best work, but it got her an A. After graduating from FSU, she used her degrees in Creative Writing and Psychology and to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality. She is the author of The Dream War Saga. Her short story "Whatever It Takes" was released within the anthology Doorways to Extra Time (Spencer Hill Press, 2013) and book one of The Dream War Saga, Sing Sweet Nightingale (Spencer Hill Press), was released March 2014.

 

Jack Wang, Ph.D. 2006 - Jack is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College in New York, where he teaches advanced fiction writing, personal essay, writing the short novel, and the history and theory of the novel. He recently attended the Sewanee Writers' Conference and is currently at work on a novel.

 

Susanna Childress, Ph. D. - Susanna Childress won the Brittingham Poetry Prize for her collection, Jagged with Love (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), chosen by Billy Collins.

 

Denise Du Vernay, M.A. 2002 - Karma Waltonen, M.A. 2001 (Ph.D. UC Davis) - Denise and Karma have co-written a book called The Simpsons in the Classroom: Embiggening the Learning Experience with the Wisdom of Springfield (McFarland, 2010). The authors, both of whom have been teaching The Simpsons for over a decade, share exercises, prompts, and even syllabi that have proven successful in their own courses. Denise teaches humanities, speech, and writing at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Karma is a lecturer at the University of California Davis.

 

Lucinda Vickers, Ph.D. 1997 - In 2007, Lu published both her novel, Breathing Underwater (Alyson Books) and a nonfiction book, Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions.(University Press of Florida). Another book, Cypress Gardens, America’s Tropical Wonderland: How Dick Pope Invented Florida (UPF) is due out in the fall of 2010. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Salon, Apalachee Review, Saw Palm and various other journals. She has been awarded three Florida Individual Artist’s Fellowships for fiction.

 

Mark Yakich, Ph.D. 2006 - is the author of two, full-length poetry collections, Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross (National Poetry Series, Penguin, 2004) and The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin, 2008). He has also published two chapbooks, The Making of Collateral Beauty (Tupelo, 2006) and Green Zone New Orleans (Press Street, 2008). He lives in New Orleans and at markyakich.com.

 

Peter P. Reed, Ph.D. 2005 - Dr. Peter P. Reed is currently Assistant Professor of early American literature and culture at the University of Mississippi. His scholarship focuses on early American and Atlantic drama, theatre, and popular culture. His most recent book-in-process, entitled Dancing on the Volcano: The Haitian Revolution and American Performance Cultures, investigates the impact of the Haitian Revolution on the stage and entertainments of the Americas, exploring a range of cultural expressions relevant to theatre and dramatic representation. His previous book, Rogue Performances: Staging the Underclasses in Early American Theatre Culture (Palgrave, 2009), analyzes early American theatre and the roles of the young nation’s disempowered classes. It was nominated for the American Society for Theatre Research’s 2009 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History and the Theatre Library Association’s 2009 George Freedley Memorial Book Award. He has also published articles on early American and transnational literature and drama in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections.

 

Tammy Clewell, Ph.D. 2000 - Dr. Tammy Clewell graduated from Florida State with a Ph.D. in literature and is currently associate professor of English at Kent State University. Her edited collection Modernism and Nostalgia: Bodies, Locations, Aesthetics was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013 (and includes a contribution by our own Dr. Barry J. Faulk); and her book Mourning, Modernism, Postmodernism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) traces the emergence of a fundamentally new way of writing about individual and collective loss, demonstrating how a refusal of consolation succeeds in promoting a progressive politics crucial for reimagining gender, race, and sexuality. She has also published essays on modernism, psychoanalysis, and film in Modern Fiction Studies, Literature/Film Quarterly, Angelaki, College Literature, and the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Her essay on Freud and mourning received the 2001 CORST Prize awarded by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Professor Clewell is currently working on a book-length study of literary studies in the age of the neurosciences.

 

Trish Thomas Henley, Ph.D. 2007 - Dr Henley is an Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. She is completing a book, Velvet Women Within: The Boy Actor and the Prostitute on the Early English Stage, which explores the intersection of early modern sexual ideology and queer desire on the all-male stage by analyzing the difference the body makes when performing the whore. She also recently co-edited (with our own Dr. Gary Taylor) The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton (forthcoming April 2012 from Oxford University Press). The handbook is the largest collection of new Middleton criticism ever assembled, and it provides a comprehensive, cutting-edge reaction to Oxford's Collected Works of Thomas Middleton. Dr. Henley has also recently published "Automated Marlowe: Hero and Leander 31-36" (Exemplaria 20), an article co-written with Bruce Boehrer.