Faculty and Panelist Biographies

The distinguished participants in this summer's conference are all active and successful novelists, poets, screenwriters, critics, scholars, or publishing professionals. In addition to our graduate program faculty, other speakers and presenters join us from all over the country. This page includes all presenter biographies. Biographies of Workshop and Critical Seminar leaders and of participants in the Poetry Symposium can also be found on the pages with the descriptions of those programs.

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Kevin J. Anderson has published more than 140 books, 56 of which have been national or international bestsellers.  He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as unique steampunk fantasy novels Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, written with legendary rock drummer Neil Peart, based on the concept album by the band Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, written comics and games, and the lyrics to two rock CDs. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press.

Ned Balbo’s five books include The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, awarded the Poets’ Prize and the Donald Justice Prize; Lives of the Sleepers, winner of the Ernest Sandeen Prize and a ForeWord Book of the Year gold medal; and Upcycling Paumanok (Measure Press, 2016). 3 Nights of the Perseids, selected by Erica Dawson for the 2018 Richard Wilbur Award, is forthcoming. His poems have appeared in American Poetry ReviewBirmingham Poetry ReviewEcotoneIowa ReviewNew CriterionPoetry DailyAmerican Life in Poetry, and elsewhere, and in anthologies such as the Everyman’s Library volumes Villanelles and Monster Verse. He was a 2017 NEA translation fellow for his version of Paul Valéry’s “La Jeune Parque” (“The Young Fate”), from which a selection, with accompanying essay, appeared in The Hopkins Review. His prose includes reviews in most issues of Antioch Review from 1999-2009; flash fictions in WaccamawGargoyle, and Pleiades; “Walt Whitman’s Finches,” awarded Crab Orchard Review’s John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize; and “My Father’s Music,” an essay on ethnicity and adoptive identity included in Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction collects new essays by Italian-American Writers (Other Press). He was recently a visiting faculty member in Iowa State University’s MFA program in creative writing and environment. The recipient of three Maryland Arts Council poetry grants and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, he received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MA from Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins.

Chris Barili (WSCU MFA '16) grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, but his service in the U.S. Air Force took him all over the world. He wrote his first novel in high school, and acted as co-editor of his high school literary magazine. He moved to Colorado in 1998 and has lived here ever since. He holds a bachelor's degree in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing - Popular Genre Fiction. Chris's short fiction has appeared in anthologies by Zombies Need Brains Press and Sky Warrior Books, as well as on Evil Girlfriend Media, Quantum Fairy Tales, Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, and The Western Online. He is also author of the dark fantasy "Hell's Butcher" series, and has published his first novel, a paranormal romance called Smothered, through Winlock Press (as B.T. Clearwater). He currently lives in Colorado Springs.

Nathan Beauchamp (WSCU MFA '15) serves as acquisitions editor for Centrifuge Press, an independent publisher of speculative fiction. He co-authored the award-winning YA science fiction series Universe Eventual, including the novels Chimera, Helios, Ceres, and Ascension. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including the best-selling Clones: The Anthology from Holt Smith, as well as in fiction magazines such as Spark, Pantheon Magazine, The Big Adios, and many others. Nathan holds an MFA in creative writing from Western State Colorado University and lives in Denver with his wife and two young sons.


Kelsey L. Bennett is a writer, critic, educator, and recipient of a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant.  Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, The New Criterion, Brontë Studies, The Colorado Review, Notes on Contemporary Literature, Gunnison Valley Journal, and elsewhere.  Her book of literary criticism, Principle & Propensity: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British and American Bildungsroman, was published with the University of South Carolina Press in 2014.  She received her B.A. in Classics from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver.  Currently she lives in Gunnison, Colorado, where she directs the Honors Program and teaches literature at Western State Colorado University.

Paige Blankenbuehler is a Colorado native and writes about changing communities in the West and contributes to tribal coverage in High Country News. She began covering Western issues at newspapers in the state in 2011 and received a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2015. When she’s not writing, she likes to get swallowed by the wilderness on long backpacking trips.



For eight years, Michael Brody has directed, with his wife Jennifer, the Crested Butte Film Festival, a four day celebration of narrative and documentary film. In that time, total attendance has jumped a remarkable 147%. The festival is known for its challenging, provocative and international selections and has become a favorite of many filmmakers. Before that, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Creative Writing, Filmmaking, and Philosophy. His first screenplay The Sun King was optioned by Hollywood producer Jeff Mackler. In 2010, he wrote, directed and produced the low-budget feature film, Document. In 2012 he was hired to adapt the novel Created Equal for the screen. Most recently, he was invited to submit his TV pilot Sanctuary to Sundance's esteemed Episodic Story Lab, and is now working on another adaptation.

Brian Calvert is the Managing Editor of High Country News, the nation's leading source of reporting on the American west. A fourth-generation Wyoming native, he grew up in Pinedale and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1994 with a BA in English liberal arts and minors in writing and media studies. He has worked as a foreign correspondent, writer, audio journalist, and most recently, a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. After extensive time in Cambodia, China and Afghanistan, Brian has a new appreciation for the West and is thrilled to be back. When he's not working, you can find him outside, trying to regain his mountain hardiness. He is also earning an MFA in Poetry at Western.


Trai Cartwright, MFA, is a 25-year entertainment industry veteran and creative writing specialist. While in Los Angeles, she was a screenwriter, independent film producer, and story consultant and development executive for HBO, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, New Lines Cinema, and 20th Century Fox. Trai currently teaches creative writing, screenwriting, and producing for Colorado colleges, writers groups, conferences, and one-on-one as a development and story editor. She is the screenwriter for Secret Ellington and Cheap Cabernet, two Colorado-based films, and the co-founder of film incubator the Colorado Smart Film Investment Coalition.

Emily Grosholz is a poet who teaches philosophy and poetry at Pennsylvania State University, and has been an advisory editor for the Hudson Review for over thirty years. The Stars of Earth: New and Selected Poems will be published in 2017 by Word Galaxy / Able Muse Press, with drawings by Farhad Ostovani. Her most recent book of poetry, Childhood, published by Accents Publishing with drawings by Parisian artist Lucy Vines, has raised over $2500 in the past year for UNICEF from sales of the book. A Japanese translation by Atsuko Hayakawa (Tsuda College) with illustrations by Chihiro Iwasaki was published in 2015, and an Italian translation by Sara Amadori (University of Bologna / Forli) was published in 2016, along with a CD Childhood Songs by composer Mirco De Stefani. A French translation by Pascale Drouet (University of Poitier) is underway. During the past year, her poems have appeared in the San Diego Readerthe Hudson ReviewPN Review and Think Journal, including two elegies for Maxine Kumin, and poems about the Gunnison Valley Observatory, Escondido, Rome, and the ferryboat from Helsinki to Tallinn. Her new philosophy book Starry Reckoning: Reference and Analysis in Mathematics and Cosmology is just out from Springer. Next year, Springer will publish her book on poetry and mathematics, Great Circles: The Transits of Mathematics and Poetry. Her translation of the late Yves Bonnefoy's essay "Yeats' Poetics" is featured the Autumn 2016 issue of the Hudson Review, and will be included in a Carcanet edition of the poet's works due out next year.

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.


Kase Johnstun lives and writes in Ogden, Utah. He is the author of recently released Beyond the Grip Craniosynostosis (McFarland & Co), which has been featured in Pennsylvania Parenting Magazine, Portland Family Magazine, The Ogden Standard Examiner, and many other places, as well as having mentions in the Chicago Tribune and the Seattle Times. It was recently awarded the Gold Quill (First Place) in Creative Nonfiction by the League of Utah Writers for 2015. His work has been published widely by literary journals and trade magazines, including, but not limited to, Yahoo Parenting, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, and The Chronicle Review. He is the co-editor/author of Utah Reflections: Stories from the Wasatch Front (The History Press), which was name the Salt Lake Tribune’s book of the month for August 2014 and the League of Utah Writers Recommended Read in Nonfiction 2015 (Third Place). His essay collection Tortillas for Honkies was named a finalist for the 2013 Autumn House press Nonfiction Awards (most of the essays in the collection have found homes in places like The Watershed Review, Label Me Latino/a, Prime Number Literary Magazine, and Animal Literary Magazine). Most recently, he was the writer-in-residence at JIWAR international artist residency in Barcelona, Spain where he finished one novel and wrote most of another.

Julie Kane, Visiting professor of Poetry in Western's GPCW and 2016 WtR Poetry Keynote, 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.

J S Mayank is Director of Western’s Screenwriting Concentration. He is a British-Indian filmmaker, represented by UTA. 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.

Candace Nadon is visiting professor of Genre Fiction in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. has an MFA in Fiction from Stonecoast 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, Colorado, where she teaches at Fort Lewis College and is working on a novel.


Kim Nuzzo (Walt Whitman/Playwright) is a resident actor with Zephyr Stage, and is also a visual artist and published poet. He’s performed many roles for Aspen’s Hudson Reed Ensemble including Scrooge and Julius Caesar. He performed the part of King Hamlet for Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale, Colorado.



Valerie Haugen Nuzzo (Executive Artistic Director/Playwright) has written several plays, co-writing Passionate Collaborators: George Burns & Gracie Allen and Tempest of the Mind with Lon Winston. She recently performed in the American premiere of The Principle of Uncertainty by Andrea Brunello. She has performed in more than 50 productions with Thunder River Theatre Company, including playing all the big Greek girls -- Lysistrata, Medea and Antigone. 



Michael Pool (WSCU MFA '15) was born in Tyler, Texas, and lives in Denver, Colorado. His crime noir novella, Debt Crusher, is out now from All Due Respect Books. A collection of Michael’s short fiction, New Alleys For Nothing Men, is also available from Short Stack Books. Michael’s first full-length novel, Texas Two Step, will be published by Down and Out Books in 2018. Michael’s short fiction has appeared in All Due Respect, Out of the Gutter, Thuglit, Heater, Urban Graffiti, Shotgun Honey and others. Michael is the Editor-in-Chief of the crime fiction publication Crime Syndicate Magazine, and is the editor / conceptualizer of the critically-acclaimed Short Stack Books eighties-themed anthology, Fast Women and Neon Lights: Eighties-Inspired Neon Noir.

Darrin Pratt is Director of the University Press of Colorado, a position he has held since 2000, and just finished a term as President of the Association of American University Presses (2016-2017). During his tenure at Colorado, he has been responsible for reshaping the editorial program and improving its profile, strengthening the balance sheet substantially, and merging University Press of Colorado and Utah State University Press to create greater scale for both imprints and provide a innovate blueprint for university press collaboration. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Principal Investigator on the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative, a joint project of the University of Alabama Press, the University of Arizona Press, University Press of Colorado, the University Press of Florida, Texas A&M University Press, and the University of Utah Press. Together these six presses explored the possibilities for publishing scholarly monographs enhanced with multimedia and rich data sets. The result was a partnership with the University of Toronto Press that ultimately led to the creation of their P-Shift editorial and production workflow. Prior to becoming Director, Darrin was the Assistant Director and Sales & Marketing Managerat University Press of Colorado, and he has also held editorial, marketing, and sales positions at Ohio State University Press, Indiana University Press, and Columbia University Press. Darrin has a Master’s in English Literature from Indiana University, and he obtained his undergraduate degree from Kenyon College in his home state of Ohio.

If you are a fan of animated comedy, chances are you have laughed at a joke written by Mike Reiss, this year's Screenwriting Keynote Speaker and a four-time Emmy award-winning producer, a 28-year veteran of The Simpsons and a contributor to more than two dozen animated films, including four Ice Age movies, two Despicable Me movies, The LoraxRioKung Fu Panda 3, and The Simpsons Movie, with a worldwide gross of $8 billion. He was the showrunner behind season four of The Simpsons, which Entertainment Weekly has called "the greatest season of the greatest show in history." Mike has also written seventeen children’s books, including the best-seller How Murray Saved Christmas and the award-winning Late for School.

Michaela Roessner is visiting Professor of Genre Fiction in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She 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.

David J. Rothman is Director of Writing the Rockies and also serves as the Director of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. His most recent book, co-edited with Jeffrey Villines, is Belle Turnbull: On the Life & Work of an American Master (Pleiades, 2017). His most recent volumes of poetry, both of which appeared in 2013, are The Book of Catapults (White Violet) and Part of the Darkness (Entasis). A book of essays about mountains and mountain towns, Living the Life (Conundrum), 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, New Criterioin, 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 owned by the Bower House Books of Denver), and currently serves as Resident Poet of Colorado Public Radio and Poet Laureate of Colorado's Western Slope. He has served as Executive Director, President, and a Board Member of the Robinson Jeffers Association, and on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). He lives in Crested Butte, Colorado.

H. E., Heather Sappenfield writes nonfiction and fiction for adults and kids. Her nonfiction has appeared in Better Homes and GardensMountain FlyerVelo Newsand The Writers ChronicleHer fiction has won or been a finalist for many awards, including the Danahy Fiction Prize, the Writer’s Digest Contest, the Pushcart Prize, and the Flannery O’Connor Award. She has published two young adult novels: The View from Who I Was (Flux 2015) and Life at the Speed of Us (Flux 2016), which was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award and the Housatonic Award for Writing for Middle Grades and Young Adults. She was honored to be invited to the anchoring local author panel for this year's Colorado Teen Lit Con. She earned her MFA from Pacific University. Heather loves mountains, so she lives in a log home in Vail, Colorado, where she teaches narrative workshops at Colorado Mountain College and at a charter school for future Olympic skiers and snowboarders. If you visit Vail, you might find her skiing or pedaling along its backcountry trails. You can find out more about her at heathersappenfield.com.

Jane Satterfield is the author of four books of poetry: Apocalypse Mix, selected by David St. John for the 2016 Autumn House Poetry Prize; Her Familiars, a finalist for the Julie Suk Award for best poetry book on an independent press; Assignation at Vanishing Point, winner of the Elixir Press Book Award; and Shepherdess with an Automatic, awarded the Towson University Prize. Her book of interconnected essays, Daughters of Empire:  A Memoir of a Year in Britain and Beyond, appeared on Demeter Press, and she is the co-editor, with Laurie Kruk, of the recent multi-genre anthology Borderlands and Crossroads: Writing the Motherland (also on Demeter). Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry and three Maryland Arts Council poetry grants, as well as residencies in poetry or nonfiction from the Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Among other awards are the William Faulkner Society's Gold Medal for the Essay, the Florida Review Editors’ Prize, the Mslexia women’s poetry prize, and the Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Poetry Prize. Satterfield’s poetry and prose have appeared in American Poetry ReviewAntioch ReviewThe CommonCrazyhorseNorth American ReviewNotre Dame ReviewPleiades, and many more, as well as on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily. The daughter of an American Air Force reservist and a British mother, she grew up near Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, teaches at Loyola University Maryland, and lives in Baltimore.

Jan Schreiber is a poet and critic whose work has gained a wide audience with the publication of his recent book Sparring with the Sun, a collection of essays on twentieth-century poets and theories of poetry. A founder of Canto: Review of the Arts and a co-founder of the annual Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Western State Colorado University, he is also a visiting scholar at Brandeis University and a study group leader at the university’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, with a special interest in Renaissance and modern verse. Previous books of poetry include Digressions, Wily Apparitions, Bell Buoys, and two books of translations: A Stroke upon the Sea and Sketch of a Serpent. His poems appear in both print and on-line anthologies. His newest collection is Peccadilloes. He is co-founder of the Symposium on Poetry Criticism at Writing the Rockies.

Andrew Sellon teaches the second summer intensive for poetry students, "Performance Skills for Poets," in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing. 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 AgainMamaroshThe SmurfsThe BlacklistThe 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.

Poet and critic Robert B. Shaw earned a BA from Harvard University, where he studied with Robert Lowell and Robert Fitzgerald, and a PhD from Yale University. Influenced by Elizabeth Bishop and Philip Larkin, Shaw’s wry and plainspoken formal verse is often grounded in, or sprung from, the debris of daily life. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, including A Late Spring, and After (2016), Aromatics (2011; co-winner of The Poets' Prize), and Solving For X (2002), which won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. His criticism appears widely in such places as the New York Times Book Review, and he has also published a critical study of poets John Donne and George Herbert, The Call of God: The Theme of Vocation in the Poetry of Donne and Herbert (1981). He is also the author of Blank Verse: A Guide to Its History and Use, the first book-length treatment of its subject since 1895, which appeared in 2007, and received the Robert Fitzgerald Award. Shaw has received Shenandoah’s James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. From 1983 to 2016, Shaw taught at Mount Holyoke College, and is now the Emily Dickinson Professor of English.

Dr. Mark Todd, founder of Western’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, has been a Professor of English at Western since 1988. He currently teaches in the undergraduate creative writing program, and serves 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. 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 SagaThe 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. Their latest book is Wild West Ghosts (Raspberry Creek, 2015), a creative nonfiction book about hauntings in frontier mining towns of the Rocky Mountains.

Poet, critic, and editor D.H. Tracy earned an MFA at Boston University. In his formally engaged poems, often infused with sly humor, he explores themes of intimacy, perception, and loss. His debut poetry collection, Janet’s Cottage (2012), won a New Criterion Poetry Prize, and his work is featured in The Hecht Prize Anthology 2005–2009 (2011, edited by Joseph Harrison). In a 2013 interview with Garrick Davis for the Contemporary Poetry Review, Tracy states, “The poet-critic’s role is, minimally, to write as well as possible—in the case of criticism, to hit that very tricky, almost Aristotelian mean, flexibility without floppiness, rigor without rigidity. In the literary culture I might wish for, everyone would have this sense that the two activities were artificially distinct, and poets would be more invested in criticism than they are.”  Later in the same interview, he notes, “If [criticism] resembles a science, it is geology, not physics: ‘laws’ don’t get you very far, and with each new piece of ground, if you are not going to be very cavalier, you have to invest a certain amount in new taxonomies and in characterizing local phenomena. Past experience may apply, or not.” In 2010, he helped found the independent literary press and nonprofit Antilever Press, which publishes both poetry and criticism. In the mid-2000s, Tracy served as archive editor for the Poetry Foundation website.

Frederick Turner is Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has held academic positions at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kenyon College (where he was editor of The Kenyon Review), and the University of Exeter in England. Among his many books are Natural Classicism: Essays on Literature and Science, Shakespeare and the Nature of Time, Paradise (poetry) and Genesis: An Epic Poem.


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