Faculty and Staff
Our faculty all possess extensive teaching experience as well as outstanding credentials in their areas of expertise, and we continue to add to these ranks. Most teach in our program both during the Summer Intensives and during the academic year, and many also participate in our summer conference, Writing the Rockies.
Program and Poetry Concentration Director
David J. Rothman, Graduate Program Director, Poetry Concentration Faculty
Office: Taylor 222B
David J. Rothman serves as the Director of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, along with also directing the Poetry Concentration. His most recent book is Belle Turnbull: On the Life & Work of an American Master, co-edited with Jeffrey Villines (Pleiades Press, 2017). His most recent volumes of poetry, both of which appeared in 2013, are The Book of Catapults (White Violet Press) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis Press). A book of essays about mountains and mountain towns, Living the Life (Conundrum Press), also appeared in 2013. His poems, essays and scholarly work have appeared widely, in journals including Appalachia, Atlantic Monthly, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, The New Criterion, Poetry, and scores of other newspapers, journals and periodicals. He co-founded the Crested Butte Music Festival, was the founding Publisher and Editor of Conundrum Press (now an imprint of Bower House Books), and currently serves as Poet Laureate of Colorado's Western Slope and as Resident Poet of Colorado Public Radio. He has served as Executive Director, President, and a Board Member of the Robinson Jeffers Association, and currently serves on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). He lives in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Russell Davis is Director of Western’s Genre Fiction concentration. He has written and sold numerous novels and short stories in virtually every genre of fiction, under at least a half-dozen pseudonyms. His writing has encompassed media tie-in work in the Transformers universe to action adventure in The Executioner series to original novels and short fiction in anthology titles like Under Cover of Darkness, Law of the Gun, and In the Shadow of Evil. He has also worked as an editor and book packager, and created original anthology titles ranging from westerns like Lost Trails to fantasy like Courts of the Fey. He is a regular speaker at conferences and schools, where he teaches writing, editing and the fundamentals of the publishing industry. He is a past president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and his newest work, The End of All Seasons, is a collection of short fiction and poetry that came out in 2013.
JS Mayank is Director of Western’s Screenwriting Concentration. He is a British-Indian filmmaker, represented by ICM Partners and Ensemble Entertainment. He has several TV projects and features in development at the moment. His first sci-fi feature script, Slate, earned him a spot on the 2009 BLOODLIST (the Horror/Sci-fi/ Thriller Blacklist). He was invited by Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival to the prestigious 2010 Tribeca All Access Program for his feature script Marathon. For his directorial debut, Mayank was granted an opportunity by the band Radiohead to create a concept music video for their song Weird Fishes / Arpeggi. He worked alongside visual artist extraordinaire John Langdon (Angels & Demons) to design special ambigrams for the video. Most recently, Mayank’s script for EMIT won a Grand Prize at the Table Read My Screenplay contest, beating out over 1200 other scripts, and winning him a trip to Sundance (2012) where a table-read of it was performed. Since then, he’s directed Emit starring Jack Coleman (Heroes, The Office, Scandal), and the short has played at over 30 festivals all over the world, including NBC|Universal Shortcuts festival and the Philip K. Dick fest in New York, Fantasia, SCI-FI London, Sci-fi Fantasy – Athens, Edinburgh, Newport Beach, New York, Las Vegas, Brazil, garnering several awards, stellar reviews and high praise for its inventiveness and creative vision. Mayank has an MFA in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University and an MA in Communication & Film from Wake Forest University. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Dr. Mark Todd, founder of Western’s MFA in Creative Writing, has been a Professor of English at Western since 1988. He currently serves as Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, and as Editor-in-Chief for Western Press Books. He has 25 years of professional journalism experience, having published hundreds of news stories, features, columns, and editorials in local through international markets. He also served as editor and publisher of both a newspaper and a regional magazine and, at one point, digested online news for the Lycos daily news service. In addition, Mark directs Western's summer creative writing conference, Writing the Rockies, now in its 15th year. Mark has performed his poetry and given fiction readings across the country and in Europe. His books include two collections of poetry, Wire Song (Conundrum, 2001) and Tamped, But Loose Enough to Breathe (Ghost Road, 2008). He is author of the science fiction novel Strange Attractors (Write in the Thick, 2012) and co-author with wife Kym O’Connell-Todd of the paranormal comedy/fantasy trilogy The Silverville Saga: The Silverville Swindle (Ghost Road, 2006), which was reissued as Little Greed Men (Raspberry Creek, 2011), All Plucked Up (Raspberry Creek, 2012), and The Magicke Outhouse (Raspberry Creek, 2013). All were nominated for Colorado Book Awards and Little Greed Men was also nominated for the Colorado Blue Spruce Award. Currently, he and Kym are at work on a creative nonfiction book about hauntings in frontier mining towns of the Rocky Mountains.
New York Times Best-Selling Author Stacia Deutsch has written more than a hundred children's books. In addition to her award-winning creative chapter book series Blast to the Past, Stacia has also ghost-written for a popular girl's mystery series, published non-fiction texts, and penned a young adult romantic comedy called In the Stars. She has written junior movie tie-in novels for summer blockbuster films including Batman, The Dark Knight and the New York Times Best Sellers Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Jr. and The Smurfs. She is currently writing stories for Lego. In 2013, she earned her MFA from Western. Find her at ww.staciadeutsch.com, @staciadeutsch and ww.facebook/staciadeutsch.
Candace Nadon has an MFA in Fiction from Stone coast Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English with Creative Concentration from Georgia State University. Her fiction, poetry, and lyric essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Hartskill Review in The Fourth River, Platte Valley Review, Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, and Mary: A Journal of New Writing, among others. She edited the book Our Place Two, and contributed to the forthcoming textbook Primary Research and Writing. Candace is a fifth generation Coloradan and currently lives in Durango, CO, where she teaches at Fort Lewis College and is working on a novel.
Michaela Roessner holds an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She has published four novels, as well as assorted short fiction and nonfiction in publications that include Asimov’s Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, OMNI Magazine, Canada’s Room Magazine and anthologies that include Full Spectrum 2 and Intersections. Her first novel, Walkabout Woman, won the Crawford and John W. Campbell awards. She has also had work short-listed for the Calvino Prize, the Tiptree Award, and the Millennium Publishing short fiction contest. Her current major projects include a number of short fiction pieces, finishing up her novel The Waters of Babylon, completing the last of her trio of novels that center around the early life of Catherine de Medici, and participating in several group ekphrastic commissions.
Ernest Hilbert received his doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University, where he edited the Oxford Quarterly and studied with Jon Stallworthy, editor of the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, and James Fenton, then Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Hilbert is the author of two collections of poetry, Sixty Sonnets (2009), described by critic X.J. Kennedy as “maybe the most arresting sequence we have had since John Berryman checked out of America,” and All of You on the Good Earth (2013), which has been hailed as a “wonder of a book,” “original and essential,” an example of “sheer mastery of poetic form,” containing “some of the most elegant poems in American literature since the loss of Anthony Hecht.” His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Parnassus, Boston Review, Verse, New Criterion, American Scholar, and the London Review as well as a number of anthologies, including the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (2009) and two Penguin classroom anthologies, Poetry and Literature (both 2011). He also supplies opera libretti for contemporary composers Stella Sung, Daniel Felsenfeld, and Christopher LaRosa. Hilbert is a senior specialist at Bauman Rare Books in Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife, Lynn Makowsky.
Julie Kane holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, where her dissertation on the villanelle won the Lewis P. Simpson Dissertation Award. Her poetry books include Rhythm & Booze (2003), a National Poetry Series winner; Jazz Funeral (2009), winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize; and Paper Bullets (2014), a collection of light verse. The Vietnam memoir that she co-authored with Kiem Do, Counterpart (1998), became a History Book Club Featured Alternate. Julie’s poems and translations appear in over fifty anthologies including Penguin’s Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, Norton’s Seagull Reader, and Best American Poetry 2016. She has collaborated with composer Dale Trumbore on the one-act opera Starship Paradise, premiered by Center City Opera Theater of Philadelphia, and with composer Kenneth Olson on City of Lights for orchestra and soprano, premiered by the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. Composer Libby Larsen’s settings of Julie’s poems have been recorded on CDs by The American Boychoir and by mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer. Julie’s scholarly essays have been published in Twentieth Century Literature, Literature/Film Quarterly, Modern Language Quarterly, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and other journals and edited collections. The 2011-2013 Louisiana Poet Laureate, she is a Professor of English and recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.
Andrew Sellon teaches the second summer intensive for poetry students, "Performance Skills for Poets." He holds an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His stage performances have been hailed by the New York Times and other newspapers across the country, and he taught acting for two years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His recent film and TV appearances include Begin Again, Mamarosh, The Smurfs, The Blacklist, The Mysteries of Laura, The Good Fight, and HBO’s Divorce. He is also an accomplished voiceover artist and audiobook narrator. He also has over twenty years of corporate sphere experience in training, facilitating, coaching, and public speaking.
William Tyson Hausdoerffer
William Tyson Hausdoerffer graduated from Western, Summa Cum Laude, in English, with a Minor in French, in 1992. He holds an MA in Classics from the University of Colorado and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He has more than a decade of college teaching experience, including teaching in a number of departments at Western. He has translated Homer, has a number of article publications and has given scholarly talks at major venues. His languages include French, Greek and Latin.
Kevin J. Anderson
Adjunct Professor Kevin J. Anderson is the author of 140 novels, 56 of which have appeared on national or international bestseller lists; he has over 23 million books in print in thirty languages. Anderson has coauthored fourteen books in the Dune saga with Brian Herbert and over 50 books for Lucasfilm in the Star Wars universe. He has written for the X-Files, Star Trek, Batman and Superman, and many other popular franchises. For his solo work, he’s written the epic SF series, The Saga of Seven Suns, and a sweeping nautical fantasy trilogy, Terra Incognita, accompanied by two progressive rock CDs (which he wrote and produced). He has written two steampunk novels, Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, with legendary drummer and lyricist Neil Peart from the band Rush. He also created the popular humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., and has written eight high-tech thrillers with Colonel Doug Beason.
Anderson holds a physics/astronomy degree and spent 14 years working as a technical writer for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is now the publisher of Colorado-based WordFire Press, a new-model publisher using innovative techniques and technologies to release books worldwide in print and eBooks. They have released over 300 titles. Anderson is also one of the founders of the Superstars Writing Seminar, which has been one of the premiere professional and career development seminars for writers. He is also an accomplished public speaker on a wide range of topics. He and his wife, bestselling author Rebecca Moesta, have lived in Colorado for 20 years; Anderson has climbed all of the mountains over 14,000 ft in the state, and he has also hiked the 500-mile Colorado Trail.
Bob Shayne has been an active and successful screenwriter for years, both in New York and Los Angeles. He’s sold 18 prime-time pilots and written 16 of them for the major TV networks in all genres, six of which were shot, two of which went to series, and most of which he produced. He’s worked on staff of both sitcoms and one-hour dramas; been a show-runner on sitcom, drama, MOW and pilots; written well over 100 episodes; written and produced TV movies; written two four-hour miniseries, written features both live-action and animated, and adapted four novels into screenplays (not counting his own). He’s won or been nominated for awards including Best TV Movie of the Year from the Writers Guild of America, Edgar for Best TV Movie of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, Edgar for Best TV Episode of the Year from the Mystery Writers of America, two Emmys from the TV Academy (for Best Talk Show and Best Documentary), and a Grammy for Best Comedy Album.