Our Alumni - Their Accomplishments     

Kameelah L. Martin, Ph.D. 2006 - is a Visiting Scholar (2011-2013) at the Center for the Study of African American Culture at the University of Houston, where she is completing her manuscript Envisioning Voodoo: African Diasporic Religion in the Popular Imagination, 1985-2010, a critical evaluation of depictions of the black priestess, and the affect of the inscription of African ritual cosmologies on the identity, perception, and treatment of African women in contemporary film. She is specifically interested in how American popular culture projects a discourse of otherness onto African-centered Spirituality, which she attributes to early American attitudes toward Haiti and its national religion, Vodou. Her monograph, Conjuring Moments in African American Literature: Women, Spirit Work, and Other Such Hoodoo (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming January 2013), explores the lore cycle of the conjure woman, or black priestess, as an archetype in literature and visual texts, and addresses how African American authors have shifted, recycled, and reinvented the conjure woman figure primarily in twentieth century fiction. It is a revision of the dissertation, chaired by Darryl Dickson-Carr and Jerrilyn McGregory, that earned Martin the J. Russell Reaver Award for Outstanding Dissertation in American Literature or Folklore.


Boyd Creasman, Ph.D. 1990 - has held a faculty position at West Virginia Wesleyan College and has served as Chair of English, then as Director of Humanities and Fine Arts. He currently serves as Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Virginia Wesleyan College.


Scott Ortolano, Ph.D. 2013 - is Assistant Professor of English at Edison State College. He co-edited and co-wrote the introduction for Perspectives on the Short Story. With an eye towards the ever-changing needs of the 21st century classroom, Perspectives offers numerous innovative themes, conventions, and global variations of the short story. Like the short story itself, the anthology roams beyond formal binaries like "conventional" or "experimental," over the borders of geography, nation, ethnicity, race, class, region, and gender, and across the lines of urban, suburban, and rural life as well as political and social affiliations.


Scott Bailey, Ph.D. 2012 - Scott Bailey's first book of poems Thus Spake Gigolo is now in print, published by NYQ Books (New York Quarterly Books). A recipient of The John Mackay Shaw, Academy of American Poetry Award and The May Alexander Ryburn Fellowship, his poems have appeared in The Adirondack Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Cortland Review, Harpur Palate, The Journal, Meridian, The Southeast Review, New York Quarterly, and Verse Daily, among others.


Laci Mattison, Ph.D. 2013 - Visiting Lecturer at Florida State University, and Paul Ardoin, Ph.D. 2014 - Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, along with Dr. S.E. Gontarski, are the general editors of Bloomsbury's "Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism" series, which reevaluates an aesthetic moment alongside the philosophy that shaped and was shaped by it. Mattison and Ardoin have also co-edited two volumes in this series: Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism (August 2014) and Understanding Bergson, Understanding Modernism (January 2013), the latter to which they contributed chapters, as well. As Gregg Lambert states of the most recent volume, "The immediate usefulness of this series is the editors' tripartite structure of close reading, contextualization, and key concepts from the philosophies of modernism. This volume on Deleuze collates an exceptional range of scholars on Deleuze and/or Modernism, maintaining a nice balance between well heeled names and brilliant new voices." Forthcoming volumes in the series are dedicated to thinkers such as William James, Wittgenstein, Foucault, and Merleau-Ponty.


Gwyn Hyman Rubio, B.A. 1971 - Gwyn's third novel, Love & Ordinary Creatures, is now available through Ashland Creek Press. Gwyn's first novel, Icy Sparks (Viking/Penguin 1988), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and also an Oprah Book Club Selection. Her 2005 publication, The Woodsman's Daughter (Penguin), was a finalist that year for the Kentucky Literary Award for Excellence in Fiction. Her collection of short stories, Sharing Power, was nominated for a Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award. Gwyn and her husband Angel have lived in Kentucky for more than 40 years, and in 2001 they moved to Versailles, Kentucky.


Michael Smith, Ph.D. 1995 - Michael is professor of English at Bluefield State College and an accomplished freshwater angler. His varied interests take him from the deepest corners of academia and theory to the wilderness of Virginia's Highlands. His book Reading Simulacra: Fatal Theories for Postmodernity (State Univ of New York Press, 2001) analyzes the extent to which our culture has immersed itself in the simulations and digital images of television, film, and video games. Outside his exploration of virtual reality, Smith is the author of five fishing books and a veteran fishing guide in New River Valley, Virginia. He recently updated The Virginia Fishing Guide (2012) by the late Bob Gooch, a legendary outdoorsman and fishing expert. Smith is accredited as a Virginia Master Angler and operates the New River Fly Fishing company in Virginia.


Lisa Tatonetti, B.A. 1995 - is the co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Contemporary Two-Spirit Literature (U of Arizona P, 2011), which won the 2012 Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Pathfinder Award, a 2012 Foreword Review Book of the Year Award (Silver), and was a finalist for the twenty-fourth annual Lambda Literary Awards and the American Library Association Over the Rainbow Book Award. Lisa is an associate professor of English at Kansas State University, where she researches, studies, and teaches queer Native literatures. Her recent monograph, entitled The Queerness of Native American Literature (U of Minnesota P, 2014), maps and theorizes LGBTIQ/Two-Spirit literature and theory from its inception to the present. Lisa's current work examines representations of female masculinity in Indigenous literatures.


Graley Herren, Ph.D. 1998 - is Professor and Chair of English at Xavier University, and he specializes in modern Irish literature, Samuel Beckett, and modern drama. He is the author of Samuel Beckett's Plays on Film and Television (Palgrave, 2007), and his most recent publications include the following articles: "Flying Man and Falling Man: Remembering and Forgetting 9/11," in Transatlantic Literature and Culture after 9/11: The Wrong Side of Paradise (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); "A Womb with a View: Film as Regression Fantasy," in The Edinburgh Companion to Samuel Beckett and the Arts. Ed. S. E. Gontarski. (Edinburgh UP, 2014); and "The Politics of Identification in Waiting for Godot," in In Dialogue with Godot: Waiting and Other Thoughts. (Lexington Books, 2013). He recently edited and introduced Text & Presentation, 2014 (McFarland, 2015), which followed his same contributions to Text & Presentation, 2013 and Text & Presentation, 2012.


Rick Campbell, Ph.D. - His most recent book is The History of Steel: A Selected Works (2014), from All Nations Press. His other books include Dixmont (2008); The Traveler's Companion (2004); Setting The World In Order (2001); and A Day's Work (2000). He's won a Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and two poetry fellowships from the Florida Arts Council. Poems and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Florida Review, Prairie Schooner, Fourth River, Kestrel, Puerto Del Sol, New Madrid and other journals. Campbell was the director of Anhinga Press for twenty years and is a founder and Board Member of the Florida Literary Arts Coalition. He teaches English at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.


Glen Retief, Ph.D. - Glen Retief is a South African writer living in Pennsylvania and teaching at Susquehanna University.  His memoir, The Jack Bank, about growing up white and gay in apartheid South Africa, appeared in April 2011 from St. Martin’s Press. Glen holds a B.A. in English and African Studies from the University of Cape Town, an MFA from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Florida State University.  He has held numerous fellowships and awards, including a James Michener Writing Fellowship and Florida State University Fellowship—that university’s most prestigious award for graduate students.


Brandy T. Wilson, Ph.D. 2008 - Brandy T. Wilson, author of The Palace Blues: A Novel (Spinsters Ink 2014), a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Lesbian Fiction, earned her PhD at Florida State University (2008). Her work has appeared in Robert Olen Butler’s From Where You Dream, Ninth Letter, G.R.I.T.S. Girls Raised in the South, and Pank Magazine among other publications. She was a 2010 Lambda Literary Retreat Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow in fiction and was awarded three Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference scholarships, the George M. Harper Endowment Fund Award, and the Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writers Fund Finalist Award. She currently teaches writing, literature, and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Memphis along with coaching and editing writers on various projects from memoir, novel, to self-help and educational literature.


Katie Cortese, Ph.D. - Katie Cortese lives in Lubbock, TX, where she teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University. Her stories and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Blackbird, Gulf Coast, Wigleaf, The Baltimore Review, and elsewhere, including the Rose Metal Press anthology, Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres. She holds a PhD from Florida State University and an MFA from Arizona State University. The former editor-in-chief of The Southeast Review, she now serves as the fiction editor for Iron Horse Literary Review, and her flash fiction collection, Girl Power and Other Short-Short Stories (ELJ Publications), launched in September of 2015. She is currently at work on a full-length story collection as well as a novel.


Mary Jane Ryals, - Mary Jane Ryals has been the Poet Laureate of Florida's Big Bend Region. Nominated in 2008, Ryals will held the title until 2012. She brings the world of poetry to schools and literary events in Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, and other north Florida counties. Her latest book of poems is The Moving Waters, published by Kitsune Press in 2008. Ryals has also been involved with the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition, Florida State University's Valencia, Spain Study Abroad Program, the Tallahassee Writers' Association Festival of Books, and the literary magazine, Apalachee Review. Mary Jane has also won the 2010 bronze metal from the Florida Book Awards for her novel, Cookie & Me.


Jacob Newberry, Ph.D. - Jacob Newberry received his Ph.D. student in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in Poetry. He has received a Fulbright Fellowship in Creative Writing, as well as the University Fellowship from FSU. His poetry and nonfiction have been published or are forthcoming in Granta, The Iowa Review, The Crab Orchard Review, and Rattle, among others. He has an M.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Mississippi and is currently working on several translation projects. He is also the Poetry Editor for The Southeast Review.