Our Alumni - Their Accomplishments     

Jennifer Perrine, Ph.D. 2006 - Her first collection of poetry, The Body Is No Machine, was published by New Issues in 2007, and she has recently completed a second book of poetry, This Animal Self. She currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa, where she teaches fiction and poetry writing, gender studies, and Holocaust studies at Drake University.

 

Chelsea Rathburn, B.A. 1997 - Her first collection of poetry, The Shifting Line, received the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award and was recently published by the University of Evansville Press. She received an MFA from the University of Arkansas in 2001. Rathburn is also author of a limited edition fine letterpress chapbook, Unused Lines, published by Aralia Press in 2002. She works as a freelance copywriter and video producer in Atlanta.

 

Michael McClelland, Ph.D., Creative Writing - Already hailed by Publishers Weekly as an “up-and-coming mystery writer” following the success of his first novel, Oyster Blues, Michael McClelland, Wittenberg University assistant professor of English, has again captured the attention of critics with his latest release, Tattoo Blues, a witty crime novel set in Cedar Key, Fla.

 

Brigitte Byrd, Ph.D. 2003 - Brigitte Byrd, a French-American poet, is the author of three book-length poetry collections, most recently Song of a Living Room (Ahsahta Press). Her newest poems are featured in The Laurel Review, Sentence, and the North American Review. She is Professor of English at Clayton State University where she teaches creative writing, contemporary poetry, and multicultural literature. She received a Ph. D. in English (Poetry as a Genre and Theory of Performance) from Florida State University. Brigitte lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Maryhelen Cleverly Harmon, Ph.D., American Literature, 1981 - She is an Associate Professor of English, University of South Florida where she specializes in 19th century British and American literature and is a winner of the Krevanek Award, USF's highest teaching award. Harmon has written book chapters and articles on the English Romantics, Hawthorne, and Melville.

 

David Bottoms, Ph.D. 1982 - Robert Penn Warren selected David Bottoms's first collection, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, for the 1979 Walt Whitman Award. His recent work includes Armored Hearts: Selected and New Poems and the novel Easter Weekend. He is a Professor of English at Georgia State University and the State Poet Laureate for Georgia.

 

Raoul G. Cantero, III, B.A. 1982 - Justice Cantero was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court on July 10, 2002, by Governor Jeb Bush. He is the first Hispanic to sit on the Court. Justice Cantero has lectured on various topics, including Florida appellate procedure, appellate writing, federal appellate jurisdiction, expert witnesses, jury voire dire, and federal civil procedure. He also has taught at Florida State University's College of Law. He is author of “Certifying Questions to the Florida Supreme Court: What's So Important?” 76 Fla. Bar. J. No. 5 (May 2002); “Changes to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure,” 71 Fla. Bar J. No. 11 (Dec. 1997); “Discovery from Medical Experts: How Much is Too Much?”, 16 Trial Advocate Quarterly 1 (Winter 1997); “Non-Final Review of Insurance Coverage Issues: Wading through the Quagmire,” 69 Fla. Bar J. No. 9 (Oct. 1995); and co-author of “Controversy in the Competitive Bidding Process,” 68 Fla. Bar J. No. 9 (Oct. 1994). Justice Cantero is also an accomplished fiction writer, having published several short stories.

 

Heather Sellers, Ph.D. 1992 - Heather is the author of three volumes of poetry, Your Whole Life, Drinking Girls and Their Dresses,and The Boys I Borrow, a collection of stories, Georgia Underwater, which won a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, and Two books for writers, Page After Page and Chapter After Chapter. Her textbook for the multi-genre creative writing clasroom, The Practice of Creative Writing from Bedford/St Martins is in its second edition. Sellers has been a member of the Hope College faculty since 1995, and is a full professor of English. Her memoir, You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know is out from Riverhead Books (Penguin) in October 2010. She's at work on a collection of essays.

 

Pamela Ball, MA 1988 - Pam Ball is haole, born and raised on Oahu of American parents. Both of her novels, i>Lava and The Floating City, are set in Hawaii. She is the winner of numerous writing awards, including the Hemingway Short Fiction Award.

 

Jesse Lee Kercheval, BA 1983 - Poet, essayist, short story writer, and novelist, Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of seven books, including Dog Angel, The Museum of Happiness, Space: A Memoir, and Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot and Structure. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin where she directs the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.

 

Masood Raja, Ph.D. 2006 - Masood joined the English Department of University of North Texas in the fall of 2010. He is the author of Once Upon A Country, a light satire about the leaders, politicians, and generals of a country called Khabistan. His book Constructing Pakistan (Oxford UP) addresses the previously neglected aspect of postcolonial and historical engagement with the creation and construction of Indian Muslim national identity before the partition of India in 1947 and traces the varied Muslim responses to the post 1857 British ascendancy. He has also recently published The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction (McFarland 2011), which examines the relationship between the fantastic in novels, movies and video games and real-world debates about nationalism, globalization and cosmopolitanism. In the process, he successfully charts a new discursive space, where postcolonial theory, science fiction, and fantasy studies work cooperatively to expand our understanding of the fantastic, while simultaneously expanding the scope of postcolonial discussions.

 

Celia Kingsbury, Ph.D. 2000 - Celia is an Associate Professor of English at Central Missouri State University. She is the author of The Peculiar Sanity of War: Hysteria in the Literature of World War I which examines the impact of war hysteria on definitions of sanity and on standards of behavior during World War I and For Home and Country: World War I Propaganda on the Home Front.

 

Steve Watkins, Ph.D. 1990 - Steve Watkins is author of The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American Corporate Empire (University of Georgia Press), which won the Virginia College Stores Award for Best Book by a Virginia author, and the story collection My Chaos Theory (Southern Methodist University Press). His stories and articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including North American Review, Quarterly West, The Nation, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. He teaches journalism and creative writing at the University of Mary Washington.

 

Tom Hunley, Ph.D. 2003 - Tom is an assistant professor of English at Western Kentucky University and the director of Steel Toe Books (www.steeltoebooks.com). Since leaving FSU, he has had three poetry books published: The Tongue (Wind Publications 2004), Still, There's a Glimmer (WordTech Editions 2004), and My Life as a Minor Character (Pecan Grove Press 2005). His book of essays, Teaching Poetry Writing: A Five Canon Approach, forthcoming from Multilingual Matters LTD. 2007, has been excerpted in The Writer's Chronicle.

 

Rita Mae Reese, M.A. 2003 - Rita Mae Reese, after changing majors every semester, dropped out of college and went to work for a lesbian press. She’d worked there for nearly seven years when a visiting author convinced her to quit and go back to school full time. She then earned a BA in American Studies and an MA in Creative Writing at Florida State University and then an MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rita Mae has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Stegner fellowship, and a “Discovery”/The Nation award. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her family.