David Biespiel

David Biespiel
Instructor of English and Creative Writing (Poetry)

David Biespiel’s teaching and research interests include poetry, poetics, and the creative process. He has published ten books of poetry and prose, including Charming GardenersThe Book of Men and Women, which was named Best Poetry of the Year for 2009 by the Poetry Foundation, and won an Oregon Book Award, Wild Civility, A Long High Whistle: Selected Columns on Poetry, and a book on creativity and the art of poetry, Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces. He is the editor of the Everyman’s Library edition of Poems of the American South and Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets, which received the Pacific Northwest Bestsellers Award. His writings appear in The Rumpus, American Poetry Review, Slate, Partisan, New Republic, Politico, Poetry, and The New York Times. Among his awards are fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Stanford University where he was a 1993-1995 Stegner Fellow in Poetry. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. His website is http://davidbiespielbooks.wordpress.com/.

 Long Whistle
 Photo of Nick Dybek  

Nick Dybek
Assistant Professor

Nick Dybek’s first novel, When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man, was the winner of the Society of Midland Authors Adult Fiction Prize, a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and one of Booklist’s ten best debuts of 2012; it has been translated into five languages. His short fiction has appeared in such magazines as Ploughshares and Granta Online. A recipient of a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award and a Maytag Fellowship, he received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his M.F.A. from The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His current writing project is a novel that takes place in the aftermath of the battle of Verdun.

 What Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man


Karen Holmberg
Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing (Poetry)

Karen Holmberg’s teaching and research interests include creative nonfiction and the lyric essay, translation, the intersections of poetry and science, and letterpress printing and the poetics of visual space. Her first book, The Perseids, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published by the University of North Texas Press; her second book, Axis Mundi, was the winner of the John Ciardi Prize and was published by BkMk Press in 2013. Slate Magazine named Axis Mundi one of the ten best poetry titles of 2013. Individual poems have appeared in such magazines as The Paris ReviewQuarterly WestSlateThe NationCimarron Review, Southern Poetry ReviewCave WallNimrodSubtropics, and have won her a Discovery/The Nation Award.  Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Black Warrior Review, New England Review, and Indiana Review; two of her essays have been cited as Notable Essays in Best American Essays (2012 and 2013). She holds an MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Southern California, the MFA in poetry from the University of California-Irvine, and the PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri. Her current writing project is a lyric novella/hybrid work based on a family history of emigration and orchard keeping.

Axis Mundi

Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello
Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing (Non-Fiction)

Elena Passarello’s essays on pop culture, music, the performing arts, and the natural world have appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, Normal School, Ninth Letter, and the Iowa Review, among other publications. Her debut nonfiction collection, Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande 2012), explores the human voice in popular performance, and she co-wrote a series of devised nonfiction monologues for the 2012 music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart (Duke University Press). A recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, she received an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and BAs in English and Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her website is www.elenapassarello.com.

 Let Me Clear My Throat
Jennifer Richter

Jennifer Richter
Instructor of English and Creative Writing (Poetry)
Internship and Outreach Coordinator

Jennifer Richter's teaching and research interests include medical humanities, the prose poem, and the hybrid form. As Internship and Outreach Coordinator, she fosters on-campus and community partnerships and places current MFA and MA students in teaching, editing, research, and arts administration internships. Her second collection, No Acute Distress, was named a Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Editor's Selection and was released in March 2016. Richter's first book of poems, Threshold, has been a national bestseller and was named a 2011 Oregon Book Awards Finalist by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner,The Missouri Review, and A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-five Years of Women’s Poetry.  She received her BA from Indiana University and her MFA from Penn State. She was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship in Poetry by Stanford University, where she taught in the Creative Writing Program for four years.  Her website is http://jenniferrichterpoet.com.

 Acute Distress

Susan Rodgers

Susan Jackson Rodgers
Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing (Prose), Director of MFA in Creative Writing

Susan Jackson Rodgers’ teaching and research interests include the craft of the short story, the coming-of-age narrative, and the linked short-story collection.  She is the author of two books of stories:  Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6 (2012) and The Trouble With You Is (2004), which won the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Short Fiction.  Her stories have appeared in journals such as New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, Quick Fiction, Beloit Fiction Journal, StoryQuarterly, and North American Review.  She received her B.A. from Bowdoin College, her M.A. from Kansas State University, and her M.F.A. from the Bennington College Writing Seminars.  Her website is www.susanjacksonrodgers.com.

rodgers book

Marjorie Sandor
Professor of English and Creative Writing (Prose)

Marjorie Sandor’s teaching and research interests include the literary uncanny and myth in American fiction. She has written four books, including the recently released memoir, The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction (May 2011, Arcade Publishing). In 2015, St. Martins Press published her edited anthology, The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows, an international compilation of literary short stories ranging from the deeply unsettling to the possibly supernatural. Her own most recent story collection, Portrait of my Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime: Stories (Sarabande Books), won the 2004 National Jewish Book Award in Fiction, and her book of essays, The Night Gardener (The Lyons Press), won the 2000 Oregon Book Award for Literary Nonfiction. Her work has twice appeared in Best American Short Stories, as well as in the Pushcart Prize XIII, and other anthologies. She received her B.A. from University of California at Davis and her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop.


Keith Scribner


Keith Scribner

Professor of English and Creative Writing


Keith Scribner's teaching and research interests include explorations of social class and the American dream in 20th century fiction, and the distinctions and cross-over between fiction and nonfiction. He has written three novels: The Oregon Experiment, Miracle Girl, and The GoodLife. His books appear in translation, and The GoodLife was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers series, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Daily Beast, TriQuarterly, American Short Fiction, Quarterly West, the Baltimore Sun, and the anthologies Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton) and Sudden Stories: The MAMMOTH Book of Miniscule Fiction. Scribner received his BA from Vassar College and MFA from the University of Montana. He was awarded Wallace Stegner and John L'Heureux Fellowships in Fiction at Stanford University, where he went on to teach in the Creative Writing Program as a Jones Lecturer. In 2010-2011 he was a fellow at Oregon State University's Center for the Humanities. His websites are http://keithscribner.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/KeithScribnerAuthor.

Justin St. Germain  

Justin St. Germain

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing


Justin St. Germain’s teaching and research interests include the literary memoir, crime narratives, and the American West. His first book, the memoir Son of a Gun (Random House), won the 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Award in Nonfiction and was named a best book of 2013 by Amazon, Amazon Canada, Library Journal, BookPage, Salon, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Pima County Public Library. It was published in French by Presses de la Cité and in the UK by Tuskar Rock Press/Atlantic Books. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, Hobart, Barrelhouse, and various other journals and magazines, as well as multiple anthologies, including the Best of the West series. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Marsh McCall Lecturer at Stanford University. He received his B.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Arizona. His website is www.justinstgermain.com.

Book cover - Son of a Gun