Presenter Bios: Craft(ing) The Classroom: A Poetry & Pedagogy Conference

Anna Lena Phillips Bell

Anna BellAnna Lena Phillips Bell is a poet, teacher, editor, printer, and the author of Ornament, winner of the Vassar Miller Prize. Her artist’s books and print objects include A Pocket Book of Forms, a travel-sized guide to poetic forms, and Forces of Attention, a series designed to help people mediate their interactions with screened devices. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in magazines including 32 Poems, Colorado Review, the Southern Review, Subtropics, Michigan Quarterly Review, International Poetry Review, and Quarterly West, and in anthologies including A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene, and Big Energy Poets: Ecopoetry Thinks Climate Change. Bell is the 2019–2021 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for Eastern North Carolina, and is the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship in literature, as well as awards and scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Southern Women Writers Conference, and Penland School of Crafts. She teaches in the creative writing department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and is the editor of Ecotone, the literary magazine that seeks to reimagine place, and Lookout Books. She formerly served as senior editor for American Scientist, for which she remains a contributing editor. She calls ungendered oldtime Appalachian square dances in piedmont North Carolina and beyond.

Jodie Coates

Jodie CoatesJodie Coates is a PhD Candidate and Pigott Scholar studying at the University of Cambridge (Christ’s College). Having previously completed her undergraduate MA (Education with English and Drama) and MPhil (Children’s Literature) degrees at the University of Cambridge, Jodie is thrilled to return to the Education Faculty and begin work with the Children’s Literature Research Group. Jodie’s research interests include novelty books, play and performance, digital humanities and posthumanism. In-between studies Jodie has spent a year on the Isle of Wight teaching students English and Drama, achieving a secondary level PGCE, and has enjoyed a summer as a Bookseller “Bibliotherapist” with Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath. 

Hayes Davis

Hayes DavisHayes Davis’ first volume, Let Our Eyes Linger, was published by Poetry Mutual Press. His poems appear in New England Review, Poet Lore, Mom Egg Review, Gargoyle, Auburn Avenue, and Fledgling Rag. His work has also been included in several anthologies, and he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016 and 2017. He is a member of Cave Canem's first cohort of fellows, a former Bread Loaf working scholar, and has been awarded writing residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Soul Mountain, and Manhattanville College. He has taught English, coordinated equity and justice work, and advised student clubs in Washington, D.C. independent schools for two decades. He lives in Silver Spring with his wife, poet Teri Ellen Cross Davis, and their children.

Sarah Donovan

Sarah DonovanDr. Sarah J. Donovan’s professional interests include ethical, inclusive curriculum, methods, and assessment practices in secondary English classrooms.  She is a former junior high English language arts teacher of fifteen years and an Assistant Professor of Secondary English Education at Oklahoma State University. She wrote Genocide Literature in Middle and Secondary Classrooms (2016) and the young adult novel, Alone Together (2018). Dr. Donovan is a co-editor for the NCTE writing commission's online journal, Writers Who Care, and serves as a state representative and board member for The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN). She is the founder of a blog and poetry writing community for teachers, Ethical ELA, and has contributed chapters to The Best Lesson Series (Talks with Teachers, 2018), Queer Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the English Language Arts Curriculum (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), Moving Beyond Loss to Societal Grieving (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), and Contending with Gun Violence in the English Language Classroom (Routledge, 2019).

Michelle Eduarda de Sá 

michele eduardaMichele de Sá is currently a Professor at the College of Arts, Letters and Communication in the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Michele earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin Language and Literature from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she took her first writing workshops and started working as a lecturer. Her research interests include transdisciplinarity, interart relations, creative writing and active learning. She has two blogs for sharing her literary texts: Littera Pulsa (, in Portuguese, and Michele’s Literatuesday ( ), in English.

Rhina P. Espaillat

RHinaRhina P. Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. After Espaillat’s great-uncle opposed the regime, her family was exiled to the United States and settled in New York City. She began writing poetry as a young girl—in Spanish and then English—and has published in both languages. Espaillat’s numerous poetry collections include And After All (2019); Her Place in These Designs (2008); Playing at Stillness (2005); Rehearsing Absence (2001), recipient of the 2001 Richard Wilbur Award; a bilingual chapbook titled Mundo y Palabra/The World and the Word (2001); Where Horizons Go (1998), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; and Lapsing to Grace (1992). Espaillat’s work has garnered many awards, including the Sparrow Sonnet Prize, three Poetry Society of America prizes, the Der-Hovanessian Translation Prize, and—for her Spanish translations of Robert Frost - the Robert Frost Foundation’s Tree at My Window Award. She is a two-time winner of The Formalist’s Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and the recipient of a 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from Salem State College. She is a founding member of the Fresh Meadows Poets and a founding member and former director of the Powow River Poets. For over a decade, she coordinated the Newburyport Art Association’s Annual Poetry Contest and the West Chester University Poetry Center had an award in her name which celebrates original poems written in Spanish and translations of English poems to Spanish.

Robert Fillman

RObert FIllmanRobert Fillman is a literary critic, poet, and teacher. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Kutztown University, where he is a member of the English and Professional Writing departments. His research interests include 19th- and 20th-century American literature, the study of poetry and poetics, U.S. modernism, environmental literature, African American writing, and the life and writings of Robert Frost. Fillman's article “Toward an Understanding of Helene Johnson’s Hybrid Modernist Poetics” was published in College Language Association Journal in Fall 2018. A second article on this understudied feminist poet of the Harlem Renaissance is in the final stage of review at Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment (ISLE). His poetry chapbook November Weather Spell was published in 2019 by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. Nominated for the Best New Poets 2019 and 2020 anthologies, Fillman has been a Mountaintop Creative Writing Fellow and a finalist for the Gerald Cable Book Award, the Ron Rash Award in Poetry, and the Cider Press Review Book Award. Recent poems have appeared in such journals as The Hollins Critic, Poet Lore, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He is currently at work on a full-length collection, House Bird, which is a fuller exploration of the themes present in his debut chapbook. Fillman earned his Ph.D. in English from Lehigh University in 2019

Nancy Kang

Nancy KangDr. Nancy Kang specializes in transnational, multi-ethnic, and diaspora women’s literatures. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, her M.A. from Queen’s University, and her B.A. from the University of Calgary, where she received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Gold Medal for Academics and the Governor General of Canada’s Academic Medal. Dr. Kang was formerly Associate Professor of Multicultural and Diaspora Literatures at the University of Baltimore. She also served as Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Syracuse University, where she was affiliated with Native American Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, and the Department of English. She was the primary faculty mentor of the University of Baltimore Women of Color Student Association (WOCSA) with Dr. Renita Seabrook (School of Criminal Justice). Dr. Kang co-authored The Once and Future Muse: The Poetry and Poetics of Rhina P. Espaillat (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018) with Dr. Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University), part of the Latino and Latin American Profiles series. She co-edited The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott (Lexington Books, 2013) with Ashley Barkman and Dr. Adam Barkman (Redeemer University College). Her scholarship appears in, or is forthcoming from such peer-reviewed venues as Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies; Twentieth-Century Literature; LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory; MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States; Canadian Literature; Women's Studies; Latin Studies; AAR: The African American Review; Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters; JLS: Journal of Lesbian studies; and ECW: Essays on Canadian Writing. She has also contributed articles to such reference sources as The Oxford Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino/a Literature, Keywords in Latino Studies, Great Lives from History: Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, and The African American National Biography, among others.

Joseph Ross

SilvioJoseph Ross is the author of four books of poetry: Raising King (2020), Ache (2017), Gospel of Dust (2013), and Meeting Bone Man (2012). His poetry has appeared in a wide variety of publications including The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Southern Quarterly, Xavier Review, Poet Lore, Tidal Basin Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Sojourners. His work appears in many anthologies including What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump, edited by Martin Espada. His poems also appear in Collective Brightness, Poetic Voices without Borders 1 and 2, Full Moon on K Street, and Come Together; Imagine Peace. He served as the 23rd Poet-in-Residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, just outside Washington, D.C. He is a seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, most recently for “The Mountain Top,” from Raising King. His poem “If Mamie Till Was the Mother of God” won the 2012 Pratt Library/Little Patuxent Review Poetry Prize. As a teacher and writer, Ross was awarded the University of Notre Dame’s Reinhold Niebuhr Award in 1997 and the William A. Toohey, C.S.C. Award in 1993. In 2006, he was awarded Teacher of the Year by the senior class at Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. In 2020, he delivered the Robert L. Giron Global Humanities Lecture for Montgomery College, Takoma Park, Maryland. The lecture was titled: “Literature Consoles and Confronts: When Poetry Is a Tool for Justice.”

Wendy Rountree

Wendy RountreeDr. Wendy Rountree is a Professor of Ethnic Studies.  Her expertise is in 20th-Century American Literature, Ethnic American Literature with an emphasis in African American Literature, and Ethnic American Drama.  She has published chapters, book reviews, journal articles, two academic books – Just Us Girls: The Contemporary African American Young Adult Novel, and The Boys Club: Male Protagonists in Contemporary African American Young Adult Literature, and a YA novel, Lost Soul. Dr. Rountree is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and the University of Cincinnati and has worked most recently at North Carolina Central University.

David Schwartz   

David SchwartzDavid Lerner Schwartz teaches at the University of Cincinnati, where he is a doctoral student and the recipient of a graduate enhancement scholarship. His work has been published in Witness, Literary Hub, SmokeLong Quarterly, New York magazine, The Rumpus, and more. His play, produced after winning Red Bull Theater’s Short New Play Festival, is forthcoming in a print anthology published by Stage Rights. He served as the 38th writer in residence at St. Albans in Washington, DC and works as the fiction editor of Four Way Review. He holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars with the support of an MFA Alumni Writer’s Grant.

Scot Slaby

Scot SlabyMinnetonka Public Schools: Scot Slaby is a poet, writer, and educator who has taught for 18 years in grades 9-12 at public and private institutions in the U.S. and overseas. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Writing from The Johns Hopkins University in 2009, and his poems have been published in two chapbooks (Bugs Us All and The Card We’ve Drawn, co-winner of the 2013 Bright Hill Press At Hand Chapbook Competition), and in numerous online and print publications, including The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms), unsplendid and elsewhere. As creator of the “I Notice” Method and author of the free, online unit plan at The Academy of American Poets — “Noticing Poetry”, a research-validated method to help readers more fully engage in reading poems — he is passionate about helping others experience poetry. Most recently, he taught for five years at Shanghai American School, before repatriating to Minnesota. “Between rearing two kids and teaching, my writing and publishing life is inconsistent at best; however, when you do see some new work, it will likely be poems in verse (metered language, as opposed to prose, which is unmetered language), essays, or blog posts about any number of topics from poem-ing to parenting, from teaching to traveling, and from writing to well-being.”

Jennifer Stern

Jenniger SternFlowing Wells High School, Tucson, AZ:  Dr. Jennifer Stern’s research and teaching interests include American Indian/global Indigenous literatures; Indigenous and (post)colonial theories; film/critical media studies; gender studies; horror genre; adaptation theory; methodologies of decolonizing; interdisciplinarity; self-representation; (tribal) critical race theory; gender studies; and intertextuality. Jennifer is a graduate of Penn State University (BA, English; BA, Journalism), University of Arizona (Med, Teaching and Teacher Education), University of Nevada (MA, English Literature), and most recently she earned her PhD in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. Dr. Stern resides in Tucson, AZ with her husband and daughter. She teaches high school English and enjoys yoga, baking, and the yarn arts.

Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University

SilvioSilvio Torres-Saillant, Professor in the English Department, is Dean’s Professor of the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he formerly headed the Latino-Latin American Studies Program, served as Director of the Humanities Council, and held the post of William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities. His books include The Once and Future Muse: The Poetry and Poetics of Rhina P. Espaillat [with Nancy Kang] (University of Pittsburgh P. 2018), Caribbean Poetics (2nd ed. Peepal Tree Press 2013; 1st. ed. Cambridge University P. 1997), An Intellectual History of the Caribbean (Palgrave 2006), El tigueraje intelectual (2nd ed. Mediabyte 2011; 1st ed. CIAM/Manati 2002), El retorno de las yolas (2nd ed. Editora Universitaria Bonó 2019; 1st ed. LaTrinitaria/Manatí 1999), and The Dominican Americans [with Ramona Hernández] (Greenwood 1998). He co-founded La Casita Cultural Center, an off-campus unit of the College of Arts and Sciences conceived as a bridge of communication, collaboration, and exchange between the school and the Latino population of the city while promoting the Hispanic heritages of Central New York. Before coming to SU, he founded the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, an interdisciplinary research at the City College of New York, and taught in the English Department of Hostos Community College, CUNY. As a visitor, he has taught at Amherst College, Harvard University, the Universidad de Cartagena, and Colombia’s Universidad Nacional. He lectures widely in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Jesse Waters

Jesse Water HSDirector, Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College: Jesse Waters is winner of the River Styx International Poetry Contest, runner-up for the Iowa Review Fiction Prize and Finalist in The Starcherone Prize, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Prize and the Paul Bowles Fiction Award, Jesse Waters is a recipient of a NC Artist’s Grant to attend the Vermont Studio Center, and is currently Director of the Bowers Writers House at Elizabethtown College. Jesse's fiction, poetry and non-fiction work has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes, and has appeared nationally and internationally in such journals as The Adirondack Review, Coal Hill Review, The Cortland Review, Cimarron Review, Iowa Review, River Styx, Slide, Story Quarterly, Southeast Review, Sycamore Review and others. His first collection of poems, HUMAN RESOURCES, was published by Inkbrush Press in 2011; his first collection of short fiction SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT was released by Paycock Press in Feb. of 2018.

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