I’m Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Poetry at the University of Michigan. Previously, I was Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, as well as a Lecturer in English and Creative Writing, at Emory University. Please see information about the courses I’ve taught, or am teaching, below.

Instructor of Record

University of Michigan

English 442: Studies in Poetry - Conversations With Dead People (Fall 2019)

Death is often imagined as one of the main topics of interest to poets across literary periods. But some poems, and some poets, take this interest one step further, positioning themselves as capable of speaking to the dead. In this course, we’ll read poems in which poets use rhetorical devices (like apostrophe, personification, and prosopopoeia) to stage conversations with dead people—and study the wild history of poets (including W. B. Yeats, Sylvia Plath, James Merrill, and Lucille Clifton) who used material means, such as Ouija boards, mediums, and automatic writing, to communicate with spirits. Our main texts will be poems—largely poetry of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—but we will also explore academic scholarship, popular writing, and other media about the history of and various ways of imagining “the occult.” Main assignments will include a creative portfolio of original poetry as well as an analytical/research-based seminar paper.  

English 320: Literature and the Environment - Writing in a Time of Extinction (Fall 2019)

In “Prayer for the Mutilated World,” Sam Sax wonders “what will be left after we’ve left,” and offers a tender and weary answer to his own question: “i dare not consider it // instead dance with me a moment / late in this last extinction // that you are reading this / must be enough.” How are contemporary writers imagining the world and the role of literature in the midst of the change, destruction, and dislocation associated with what has been termed the sixth mass extinction event? How do they define “environment,” their relation to it, and their place within it? From climate fiction (“cli-fi”) to necropastoral poems and beyond, we will read literary works, as well as academic scholarship and popular writing, that respond to these questions. Main assignments will include a weekly journal, two close-reading analytical essays, and a final creative project.

Emory University

PREC 100-28 (Summer 2019): Introduction to Feminist Theory and Practice (Summer 2019)
[Google Drive folder of course materials]
WGS 385: Anthropocene Ethics (Spring 2019) 
[syllabus] [-Cene project digital compilation]
WGS 285: Sex Machines and Breasts Like Martinis - Contemporary Poetry and Queer/Feminist Theory (Fall 2018) 
[syllabus] [whiteboard tumblr] [Original Poems digital compilation]
WGS 200: Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (two sections, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019)
[F18 syllabus] [F18 whiteboard tumblr] [S19 syllabus (course whiteboards were private for S19)]
ENGCW 271: Introduction to Poetry Writing
PREC 100-28 (Summer 2018): Dramatic Writing Studio
ENGL 250: Poetry (Spring 2017)
[course website, including syllabus
ENGL 181 (Writing About Literature): Women Writing Extraordinary Ecologies (Spring 2015)
[course website, including syllabus]
ENGL 101 (Expository Writing): Nonhumans (Fall 2014)
[course website, including syllabus]

Guest Lectures

ENG 204: Literary Journalism, Providence College - November 2016
ENGL 190/NBB 190: Languages of Emotion - November 2016
ENGCW 271: Introduction to Poetry Writing - October 2016
ENGL 3140: Editing for Publications, Georgia State University - February 2016
ENGCW 271: Introduction to Poetry Writing - February 2015
ENGL 251: American Literature Since 1850 - February 2014

Teaching Assistantships

ENGL 251: American Literature Since 1850, Emory University - Spring 2014
ENGL 250: American Literature To 1850, Emory University - Fall 2013
WRIT 126: Writing Tutorial, Wellesley College - Spring 2007, Spring 2008

Volunteer Instructing

 Poetry Instructor, PEN New England Prison Writing Program, Boston, MA - 2010–2012

The image behind the overlay: Untitled (North/South) by Jitka Hanzlova. See it in full, and full color, here.