Belinda Acosta, a native of Lincoln, came to UNL in 2012 to pursue her PhD in Creative Writing. Prior to her return, she lived in Austin, Texas, where she received her MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in 1997. Her nonfiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, The Texas Observer, the Austin Chronicle, Sojourners, and other publications. She is the author of two, companion novels: Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz (2009) and Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over (2010) both published by Grand Central Publishing. She is currently at work on her third novel, set in Lincoln in the 1970s. Contact Belinda at

Ryan Aiello is a fourth year doctoral student in American Literature and Film Studies, with a graduate specialization in Ethnic Studies. Before arriving at UNL, he received his BA and MA from California State University, Chico, where he also taught courses in American Literature, World Literature, and Composition. Ryan’s research and teaching interests are multifaceted and interdisciplinary, and include American Ethnic literatures—particularly African-American, Latino/a, Native-American, and Filipino-American—and Film and Television, from which, he is an ardent admirer of the works of David Simon, Aaron Sorkin, and Thomas McCarthy. He is also interested in the potential of political art and literature, namely a text’s ability to impact political behavior and opinion, and the literature of social justice, particularly texts that report on and reveal the inequalities and inconsistencies inherent in America’s ongoing drug war, and the ensuing culture of mass incarceration it has created.

Aimee M. Allard is a PhD student at UNL who has an MA in English from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has published essays such as "A Legacy of Word−Music: The Synthesis of Blues and Voice in Rita Dove´s Thomas and Beulah" and poetry including "Pendulum" and "Anatomy of the Gaze." Her scholarly presentations include the Popular Culture Association in the South and the FGCU Interdisciplinary conferences. Ms. Allard´s fields of interest lie in late 19th century through 20th century American Literature and in women´s studies.

Lindsay Andrews earned her B.A. in English and double minored in Art History and American History from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Fall 2014 marks her 4th year as a direct-admit Ph.D student studying American Literature and Art History with a specialization in nineteenth century studies. Lindsay’s scholarly interests are largely interdisciplinary. Her field of research includes Gilded Age constructions of aesthetics & taste, museology, visual & material culture, transatlantic women writers, collectors & artists, and the history of costume and sartorialism. In her spare time she works closely with the university’s own Sheldon Museum of Art. There, she volunteers as a graduate curatorial intern, contributes research to exhibitions & catalogues, leads public & academic tours and serves as president to the Sheldon Student Advisory board. She can be reached at

Zach Beare is a PhD student in Composition and Rhetoric with interests in critical pedagogies, queer theory, and the interplay of personal and institutional identities. Zach's work focuses on the politics and ethics of teaching writing, the ways in which students and teachers negotiate their own embodiments and identities in the classroom, and the ways in which they navigate the matricies of power associated with the institution. Currently, he is engaged in a phenomenographic study of the classroom experiences of teachers of writing influenced by critical pedagogies. Zach is also collaborating with Marcus Meade on a study examining the presence, function, and consequences of hyperbole in first-year writing. He can be contacted at

Tom Bennitt is a first-year PhD in Creative Writing (Fiction). He received his MFA from the University of Mississippi, where he held a Grisham Fellowship and was Co-Editor of The Yalobusha Review. He also holds a J.D. from Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. from Bowdoin College. His short fiction (and nonfiction) has appeared in Texas Review, Binnacle, Burnt Bridge, Monongahela Review, River Walk Journal and Fiction Writers Review, among others. His honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize nomination, Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest, winner of the Culver Short Fiction Prize, and a residency fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He can be contacted at

Caterina Bernardini is a second year doctoral student in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. After receiving her MA degree in Euro-American Languages and Literatures (major: American English, minor: Russian from the University of Macerata, Italy, in 2011 Caterina came to UNL as a Fulbright scholar. She is pursuing a joint Ph.D degree with UNL and the University of Macerata. Her research focuses on the reception of Walt Whitman's poetry in Italy. Other research interests include comparative literature, translation studies, and digital humanities. She received an honorable mention for the Agostino Lombardo Prize by AISNA (Italian Association of North American Studies) for her masters thesis on Whitman’s poetry. She has presented papers at the International Walt Whitman Week Symposiums in 2010 and 2011, the AISNA Conference in 2011, the Italian Association of Literary Modernity Conference in 2011 (the publication of the proceedings is forthcoming) and at the 1st Conference of the Italian Association of Digital Humanities in 2012 (the publication of the proceedings is forthcoming.) She is the Italian translator of Professor Susan Stanford Friedman's essay "The New Migration and Literature: Gender, Nation, and Narration in the Global Age," published by Eum in 2007, and she periodically translates from English and Russian into Italian for the publishing house Liberilibri. In addition to being a graduate teaching assistant, Caterina collaborates with the Walt Whitman Archive and serves as an editorial assistant for the Willa Cather Archive. You can reach Caterina at

Daniel Boster is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric and composition with an emphasis on secondary English education. Dan holds M.A. in English (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire) and a B.A. in English (University of Texas). He serves as a co-director of the Nebraska Writing Project and teaches English at Ralston High School in Omaha. His poetry has appeared in several publications such as Steam Ticket, Trajectory, and Cream City Review, and he is the editor (with Marni Valerio) of What Teaching Means: Stories from America's Classrooms (Rogue Faculty Press, 2012).

Jaime Brunton is a 3rd-year PhD student specializing in poetry writing, poetics, and critical theory. Jaime earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also holds a master’s in Visual Studies from the University of California-Irvine and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College. Jaime’s research explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics, and is specifically focused on representations of subjectivity in 20th- and 21st-century American avant-garde poetry. She is an editor and contributor at Watershed (, an independent critical theory blog by graduate students in UNL’s English department. Jaime’s poetry chapbook, The Future Is a Faint Song (co-authored with Russell Evatt), won the 2012 Dream Horse Press Chapbook Competition. Her full-length poetry manuscript, Reclaimed, has been a finalist for the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Award, the Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press, the Tupelo Press Berkshire Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, and the Levis and Intro Prizes from Four Way Books. It has also been a semifinalist for the Walt Whitman Award, the Alice James Books Beatrice Hawley Award, and the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition. Her poems appear in Denver Quarterly, Mid-American Review, Cincinnati Review, The Journal, specs, Diagram, and other journals. You can email Jaime at

Kristi Carter ( is a PhD in Creative Writing--Poetry with a specialization in Women's and Gender Studies. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Foothill: a Journal of Poetry, Artichoke Haircut, 42 Magazine, CALYX: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, and Hawai'i Review. She holds an MFA from Oklahoma State University.

Janel Cayer is a doctoral student specializing in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, with an emphasis on the antebellum period. Janel's doctoral research approaches literatures of the U.S. War with Mexico from an interdisciplinary perspective, examining the ways in which this war shaped the nineteenth-century American cultural and literary imagination. In addition to teaching composition and literature courses, Janel serves as an editorial assistant at the Whitman Archive and Civil War Washington.

Erin Cheatham is a research assistant and first year Master’s student in Literature. Her scholarly interests include: 19th and 20th Century Literature, Digital Humanities, British Modernism, and Literary Theory. Erin received her BA in English Literature with an Emphasis in Studies of the Novel from The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. In her free time, Erin likes to read and blog about her obsession with contemporary YA fiction and Virginia Woolf. You can find out more about Erin on her website,, or you can reach her at

Jonathan Cheng is a first year, direct-admit doctoral student specializing in digital humanities and new media studies. He came to UNL after majoring in English with a minor in Computer Science at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign. Jonathan has worked on several text-analysis projects including “Mapping Mutable Genre in Structurally Complex Volumes”. Currently, he works at the Walt Whitman Archive and writes about computer/videogames in terms of literary theory. You can reach Jonathan at

Daniel Clausen ( is a second-year PhD student specializing in nineteenth-century American literature, with particular interest in the development and influence of American agrarianism. He received his MA in Literature from Boise State University before coming to Nebraska, and has presented at the conferences of the Western Literature Association and the Association of the Study of Literature and the Environment. He also works in translation and received the Gutekunst Translation Prize from the Goethe Institute of New York in 2012.

James Crews was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his work has appeared in Columbia, Crab Orchard Review, Best New Poets 2006 and 2009, as well as other journals. His manuscript, The Book of What Stays, won the 2010 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and was recently published by the University of Nebraska Press. He is Assistant Editor of basalt magazine ( and contributes regularly to the Poem-of-the-Week feature for the Times Literary Supplement.

Laura Dimmit is a second-year M.A. student specializing in poetry. Previously, she completed her B.A. in English at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Her work has appeared in the American Life in Poetry column, as well as journals like Moon City Review and The Cape Rock. You can reach her at

Trudy Eblen is a second-year Ph.D. student concentrating in British Romanticism She received her B.A. in English Literature from Simpson College and an M.A. in British Literature from Creighton University. After completing a Teaching Fellowship at Creighton, she taught at Iowa Western Community College and finished her teaching career at Atlantic High School. She has presented conference papers at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, University of Nebraska-Omana, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her work now focuses on William Blake's dual narratives in Jerusalem, with an emphasis on the eponymous heroine's Jungian individuation. You can contact Trudy at

Jordan Farmer is a PhD student in Creative Writing: Fiction. Originally from Southern West Virginia, Jordan writes Appalachian fiction that often deals with disenfranchised characters who live on the social fringe. He recieved his MA in English from Marshall University in Huntington, WV.

Claire Harlan Orsi
is a fifth year PhD student specializing in fiction writing. Claire grew up in Bloomington Indiana, graduated from Brown University, and worked as a college counselor and in Providence and as a youth job developer for the City of Chicago before coming to Nebraska. Claire's stories and essays have appeared in the Cincinnati Review, Passages North, MAYDAY and The Believer. In addition to fiction writing, Claire's interests include literary and cultural criticism, college access and 20th/21st century fiction.

Jacqueline H. Harris is a PhD candidate in English. She works as a Lecturer for UNL's English and Women's & Gender Studies Departments. She has specializations in Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies and Women's & Gender Studies. Her dissertation-in-progress, "The Buried Life of the Facts of Life: Female Physical Development in Nineteenth-Century British Coming-of-Age Literature," examines evidence of female adolescent maturation within Victorian-era texts. You can read more about her research, publications, and conference presentations at

Eman Hassan is a 1st year Ph.D. Student in Creative Writing Poetry. Eman earned her BA in Journalism and Literature from the American University in DC and has an MFA in poetry from Arizona State University. She is also one of the founding members of The American University of Kuwait. Her work has recently appeared in Pilgrimage, Stone Highway Review, The Boiler Room, and Aldus Journal of Translation, among others. You can reach Eman at

Katelyn Hemmeke is a first-year M.A. student studying ethnic literature. Her specific research interests include Asian-American literature, transnational adoption, and adoptee literature. She earned her B.A. at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where she double-majored in English (creative writing emphasis) and Spanish and minored in French. Before coming to UNL, she spent two years in South Korea on a Fulbright English teaching assistantship. You can reach Katelyn at

Jason Hertz is a third year PhD student in Literature Studies with a specialization in Native American Studies.  Jason joined UNL after completing an MA in Literature at Western Carolina University, a regional university in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  His work focuses on the many topographies of place expressed in ethnic and national stories, especially memoirs and other forms of literary (non)fiction.  Recently, he has delivered papers at The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, The 1st Biennial U.S. Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference Haciendo Caminos, the Western Literature Association, and the Popular Culture Association.  He is a Center for Great Plains Studies graduate fellow.  He co-curates the No Name Reading Series.  Please contact Jason at

Charles Hiebner is pursuing a Masters in Literary Studies, focusing on the Great Plains and the literary traditions of the region. He is especially interested in the influences that the Great Plains environment has had on Native American and European American literature and how each tradition approaches the land in different ways. He earned a BA in English (creative writing) and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He can be reached at

Arden Eli Hill is a 4th year PhD student in Creative Writing (Poetry).  He also writes Creative Non-Fiction and is working on a specialization in Women and Gender studies.  Arden holds an MFA from Hollins University.  He is working on a fictionalized memoir told in poems that delves into adoption, race, gender, sexuality, and disability.  Arden is from southern Louisiana but lived in the DC and Boston areas before moving to the prairie.  Arden recently won the Gaffney/Academy of American Poets award.  He is currently a Senior Poetry Reader for Prairie Schooner and his work has appeared in such publications as Willow Springs, Western Humanities Review, and Joselyn NOW.  You can reach Arden at

Jack Hill is a first year MA Student in Creative Writing, Fiction. Jack is from Northern California and completed his BA in English at Humboldt State University. He edits Crossed Out Magazine, a short fiction quarterly, and may be contacted at

Gabriel Houck is originally from New Orleans, and is a 4th year student in the creative writing PhD program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He studied at Johns Hopkins University’s writing seminars as an undergraduate, and has MFAs in writing from the California Institute of the Arts and the University of Iowa. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Western Humanities Review, Drunken Boat, Flyway, Spectrum, Sweet, Grist, American Literary Review, PANK, The Pinch, Moon City Review, and Mid American Review, where he won the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize. He and his 14-year-old dog are currently working on a short story collection and a nonfiction manuscript about a creationist museum in Kentucky. He can be reached at, and his office is in Andrews 317.


Hye-Ran Jung is a PhD student in Literature. She earned an MA in English from Korea University. She presented "Remembering and Mapping," a critical paper on Nuruddin Farah’s Maps at the English Language and Literature Association's annual conference in South Korea in 2007. Her specific interest centers on 20th-century ethnic and postcolonial studies. She plans to delve into theoretical interests and literary narratives that articulate the experience of marginalized and disempowered subalterns in the context of contemporary transnational capitalism. She is also interested in the writing experience of in-betweens as intermediary agents situated in a border space between two or more different worlds. She works in the Writing Center.

Yeojin Kim is a graduate assistance and a third year English Ph.D. student whose primary areas of interest include ecocriticism, place-conscious literary studies, and bioregionalism. She has been awarded Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship (2012-2014) and Thoreau Society Short Term Research Fellowship (2014). Yeojin received her MA in English Language Education from Seoul National University and published her essays in several peer-reviewed Korean journals including English Culture Studies and American Studies. In coming November she is going to Victoria, BC in Canada to present at the 2014 Western Literature Association conference. She is presently a graduate editorial assistance for Western American Literature: A Journal of Literary, Cultural, and Place Studies. She can be contacted at or

Gabrielle Kirilloff is a first year doctoral student specializing in digital humanities and new media studies. She came to UNL after earning her BA in English at the University of Pittsburgh and her MA in English at the University of Rochester. Gabrielle has worked on several digital archives, including The William Blake Archive and The Camelot Project. Currently, she is working on the Willa Cather Archive. You can reach Gabrielle at You can also read more about Gabrielle's interests at her personal site,

Ashanka Kumari is a second-year M.A. student in the composition and rhetoric program. As well as composition and rhetoric studies, her current research interests include work in digital literacies, identity, and digital humanities. Ashanka comes to UNL after earning two bachelor's degrees from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL in May 2013: a B.A. in English with a minor in Italian and a B.A.C. in journalism with a minor in music. She is a native of Long Island City, NY but moved with her family to Muscle Shoals, AL when she was nine, which she now calls "home." Ashanka enjoys traveling and interned for Le CITY deluxe international luxury magazine in Barcelona, Spain during summer 2012 in which she was published in print and online. More recently, she co-presented at Digital Humanities 2014 in Lausanne, Switzerland. In her "free time," she develops her social media identities, vlogs, and watches way too much television. Ashanka can be reached at

Kathleen Lacey is a lecturer in English and Women’s & Gender Studies and a PhD candidate in literary studies. She has BAs in English and Humanistic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and an MA in literature and a MFA in short fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She regularly teaches courses in composition, literature, and popular culture. Her research interests include the role and image of girls in African American women’s literature, the image of the black child in early American print culture, and the history of healthcare and reproductive justice concerning American women of color. You can reach her at

Andrea Comiskey Lawse is a Ph.D studying 19th and early 20th century Transatlantic literature, and specializing in science, ecofeminism, place studies, and sustainability. She is currently revising her essay, "The Embodied Mind, Quantum Theory and 'Kubla Khan': Coleridge's Reconciliation of Mind, Body, and Spirit?" for publication. Other publications include "Willing to Lead": Education for a Green, Sustainable Future," forthcoming in Creighton Magazine, and a published book review in New Hibernia Review. She will be presenting papers ("Eating Nature: Ecological Reflections on Science, Consumption, and Spirituality" and "Situating Anarchy: Networks of Science and Culture in Le Guin's The Dispossessed") at MMLA and Marquette University this fall. She is a Teaching Assistant at UNL.

Courtney Lawton is a third year Ph.D. student in American Literature who specializes in Willa Cather, modernism, and digital humanities. She has collaborated to produce both a digital map of Nebraska's literary heritage, and a digital edition of Cather's April Twilights. She received her B.A. in French and English from the University of New Mexico, and her M.A. from St. John's College-Santa Fe.

Yulia Levchenko is a PhD student in Nineteenth-Century Studies. She received an MA in British Literature from University of Nebraska, Lincoln under Fulbright scholarship; and a BA from Kursk State University, Russia. Yulia specializes in British Romanticism (poetry in particular) and intercultural connections between Britain, Russia, and France at the time. Her other interests include translation theory and visual arts.

Robert Lipscomb is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Literature. Robert came to the University of Nebraska after earning a BA and MA from the University of Texas at Arlington. His interests include twentieth and twenty-first century literature and critical theory with an emphasis on queer theory. In addition to his work appearing in the Early Modern Studies Journal, Robert also has a chapter following the history of LGBT civil rights in Texas in the forthcoming Proud Heritage anthology.

Judy Lorenzen is a Ph. D. student studying Composition and Rhetoric. She holds a BA, English; MSED, Community Counseling, and MA, Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She teaches high-school English and is a Fine Lines online editor. Her work appears in The Nebraska English Journal, Nebraska Poet’s Calendar, Fine Lines, Times of Singing, Plains Song Review, Relief Literary Journal, Plainsong, Nebraska Life magazine, Celebrate: A Collection of Writings by and About Women (Volume XVI) and The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets.

Rebecca Macijeski is a third year TA and PhD student in Creative Writing, Poetry. She serves as an Assistant Editor in Poetry for Prairie Schooner and as a graduate assistant for Ted Kooser's column, American Life in Poetry. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and continues to serve as the Assistant Poetry Editor for Hunger Mountain. She is the recipient of a 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and has been awarded artist residencies with The Ragdale Foundation and Art Farm Nebraska. She was a featured poet in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project in October of 2014. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poet Lore, Border Crossing, Phantom Drift, Whiskey Island, Fourteen Hills, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Painted Bride Quarterly, Salon, Clackamas Literary Review, and others.

Lindsay Mayo Fincher is PhD student in Nineteenth-Century Studies. She received a generalist MA in English literature from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and a BA in English from Texas Tech University. Working from a cultural criticism perspective, she is interested in industrial fiction, technology and modernization, and travel writing. She is deeply invested in tracing the ways that modernization informs the private self and examining the networks that form between art and science in the final decades of the Victorian period. She can be reached at

Carmen McCue is a second-year Ph.D. student at UNL. Her interests lie in late 19th century and early 20th century American literature with a focus on sexuality and gender identity. Carmen was born and raised in Nuremberg, Germany, but comes to UNL from Colorado Springs.

Kevin McMullen is a PhD student specializing in 19th century American literature, with a particular focus on Walt Whitman and his cultural afterlife. He is also pursuing a specialization in Digital Humanities. Kevin hails from the far-away land of Bettendorf, Iowa, and received a BA in both English and Journalism from the University of Iowa, and his MA from UNL. Kevin is in his fifth year of a research assistantship at the Walt Whitman Archive.

Katie McWain is a second-year PhD student in Composition and Rhetoric. Her scholarly interests include feminist rhetoric, composition theory and pedagogy, teacher development, literacy studies, and community literacy. Katie received her BA in English and Writing from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri and her MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her research has been featured at Feminisms and Rhetorics and the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Katie is always fascinated by the intersections of gender, writing, teaching, stories, and politics, and can be reached at

Marcus Meade is a third-year PhD student studying Composition and Rhetoric and the Associate Coordinator of the UNL Writing Center. His specific focus is the intersection of student-athletics and writing instruction, but he delights in working with multiple fields inside and outside of Composition and Rhetoric. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a M.A. in English from Northwest Missouri State University. In his spare time he watches and plays sports, writes fiction, and plays a really terrible piano.

Kelly Meyer is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Composition and Rhetoric. A former middle school English teacher, Kelly is currently serving as Associate Coordinator of Composition for the UNL English department. She is a native of Chicago, but moved to St. Louis shortly after receiving her BA at McKendree University, earning her MA in Composition/Rhetoric at the University of Missouri—St. Louis. Kelly’s research focuses on literacy studies, community service learning, and teacher pedagogy and preparation for the classroom. She has presented at CCCC, IWCA, NCTE, and MMLA. Kelly enjoys world travel and has spent her summers in recent years trekking across the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Australia, and India with students through her affiliation with People to People Ambassador Programs. Kelly can be reached at

Shea Montgomery is a second year Masters student in Creative Writing Poetry. Shea came to UNL after earning his BA in English at Oregon State University. You can reach Shea at

Anne Nagel is a PhD student whose interests include nineteenth-century British literature and literary theory. She holds a master of arts degree in English and a certificate in nineteenth century studies from UNL. Her master’s thesis invoked Deleuzian affect theory and historical conceptions of dreaming to explore the intensity of the Gothic dream in nineteenth-century British novels. Her dissertation will expand this project beyond the Gothic. As an undergraduate at UNK, she double-majored in English and philosophy, minored in French, and earned a second bachelor's degree in secondary education. She can be reached at

Maria Nazos is a second-year PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, and has an M.F.A in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry engages the natural landscape, the people who inhabit it, and the question of what it means to be human. She has received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Marge Piercy selected her chapbook “Trailer Park heart” as runner up for the Providence Philbrick Poetry Project Award. Wising Up Press published A Hymn That Meanders, her first full-length collection of poems, in 2011. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southern Humanities Review, The Florida Review, The New Ohio Review,  Poet Lore, and elsewhere. In addition to poetry writing, her interests include gender studies. She can be reached at

Cindy Nelson, a PhD student, is a graduate of Chadron State College and UNL. Her areas of specialty are 19th century British literature and interdisciplinary 19th century studies. Cindy loves the Brontes and wrote her master´s thesis on the philosophy of death in Emily Bronte´s poetry. She taught high school English (all courses and grades) for two years and is currently teaching at Southeast Community College.

Daniel Nyikos earned his MA at Utah State University. He is a third-year PhD student studying Creative Writing, focusing on Fiction. Born in Germany and ethnically Hungarian, he is interested in ethnicity, the impact of history on identity, and marginal and liminal subcultures. His areas of literary curiosity include Victorian literature and weird fiction, particularly the writings of Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and the Lovecraft Circle. He will spend the 2013-2014 academic year doing research for his novel in Hungary as a Fulbright scholar.

Bernice Olivas is a direct admit doctoral student in Rhetoric and Composition. She grew up in Idaho, moving from small rural towns like Rupert, Idaho and eventually settling in Boise, Id. She plans to complete both her MA and her PhD  at UNL. Bernice's primary research interest is centered around  retention of underrepresented students in the composition course. Bernice currently teaches English 151: Rhetoric as Argument.

Raul Palma earned an MA in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University. Presently, he is a second-year PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he teaches composition and creative writing. He is an Assistant Editor of Fiction for Prairie Schooner, and the reviews editor for Brighthorse Books. He is the recipient of the 2014 Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Story Prize and the 2012 Soul-Making Keats Story Prize. Additionally, his stories have been nominated for Sundress' Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, and have placed five-times as finalists in Glimmer Train contests. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alimentum, The Cossack Review, decomP magazinE, Eclectica, Midwestern Gothic, NANO Fiction, Naugatuck River Review, Saw Palm, Rhino, and elsewhere. His novella, Immaculate Mulch, was recently short-listed for finalist in the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Novella Prize, and is forthcoming in the spring from Unsolicited Press. His many research interests include: the American Novel since 1886; and Cuban and Cuban American literature since 1959.

Kelly Payne (B.A., Saint Mary’s College; M.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is a Ph.D. student and academic advisor in the Department of English at UNL. She is interested in the economic dimensions of humanitarian reform efforts in nineteenth-century American Literature. She received an Honorable Mention recognition for the Woodberry Prize for an essay on Jewish-Anglo manners in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. Her publications include a book review in the online edition of Nineteenth-Century French Studies. She has presented conference papers on Lydia Maria Child, George Eliot, and Frances Willard. Kelly also has presented papers on pedagogical topics related to undergraduate student success.

Katherine Pierson is a first-year M.A. student in 19th-century studies. She has worked as a writing center consultant, a developmental English instructor, and an LPS student mentor. She is a volunteer with Lincoln Literacy Council and is married with two young children.

Lydia Presley is a first year MA student in Literature with specializations in Great Plains Literature and Ethnic Studies (Native American Literature). Lydia moved to Lincoln from Waipahu, Hawai’i in August 2014 and, prior to her time spent in Hawai’i, earned her B.A. in English and Music Performance from Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. She is interested in biopolitics and the topics of religion and social justice as applied to Native American literature.

Casey Pycior is a third-year PhD student in creative writing-fiction.  He holds an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University and an MA in Literature from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  He is currently working on a collection of short stories titled Bald Horizons.  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, Big Muddy, American Life in Poetry, Storyglossia, Front Porch, and Pear Noir! among other places.  He is also interested in contemporary American Literature, the short story, and literature of place.  Casey can be reached at


Charity Regennitter is a second year MA student in Composition and Rhetoric who received her BA in English at York College in York, Nebraska. Her primary interest is in exploring writing and writing communities in online settings, particularly genres like fanfiction and other, similar creative writing. Charity currently works as a TA as well as a consultant in the UNL Writing Center and can be contacted at

Edwardo Rios
is a second year PhD student, focusing on late-twentieth century American literature with a specialization in Women’s and Gender Studies.  His research interests include porn studies and aesthetics. He earned his MA in English from Texas State University. He can be reached at

Jessica Rivera-Mueller
is a doctoral candidate in Composition and Rhetoric.  She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (M.A.) and Nebraska Wesleyan University (B.A.) and a former high school teacher for Lincoln Public Schools.  Jessica's area of scholarship is teacher development, and she has presented her work to educators working in a variety of contexts, including members of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the American Education Research Association.  You can reach Jessica at

Michelle Roberts is a 1st year MA student in Creative Writing (Poetry) with a specialization in Women’s and Gender Studies. She received her BA in English at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She has been published on Issue 58 and a handful of local journals and magazines. Michelle is a reader for the Prairie Schooner and co-curates the No Name Series. She was also awarded The Wilbur Gaffney Undergraduate Poetry Award in 2009. Michelle can be reached at

Erica Rogers a sixth-year doctoral student studying the rhetorical traditions within the field of Composition with a focus on “personal” writing as cognitive and intellectual work. Her commitment to personal writing as discursive, autonomous, academic, communal, and professional practices that can interrupt and/or challenge privileged discourses influences her pedagogy and scholarship. Erica has presented her work at venues such as Split this Rock, the Rhetorical Society of America, College Composition and Communications Conference, as well as local readings and events in Lincoln. Erica currently teaches “Writing and Communities” as well as “Rhetoric as Inquiry.”

Ian Rogers is a first-year M.A. student in creative writing. He received his B.A. from Bennington College in Vermont, where his undergraduate thesis explored the influence of Louis-Ferdinand Céline on the novels of Joseph Heller. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Millions, Japanzine, and Non Finito. He has worked abroad as a teacher of English as a second language, and is currently at work on a novel about the clash between Eastern and Western values in Japanese society.

Hali F. Sofala is a Samoan American poet and teacher originally from Eatonton, Georgia. She holds degrees from Georgia College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is currently a second year PhD student in English, focusing on Poetry with specializations in Ethnic Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Sofala serves as Coordinator for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series. Her work appears most recently in WomenArts Quarterly Journal, basalt magazine and CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women. She lives in Lincoln with her husband and their adorable pup, Tortuga.

Aubrey Streit Krug is a graduate teaching assistant and PhD student in English and a graduate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL, where her areas of study include U.S. and Canadian literature & the environment, ecocriticism, place-conscious composition, and the Omaha language. She researches stories of the changing relationships between peoples and plants on the Great Plains, focusing on literatures of agriculture, ecology, and ethnobotany. Aubrey’s reviews have been published in Great Plains Quarterly, ISLE, Gastronomica, The Goose, and the Lincoln Journal Star, and her essays have been published in the Journal of Ecocriticism, Writing on the Edge, Prairie Fire (Canada), the Land Report, the Ravenshaw Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies, and Visual Communication Quarterly. Her chapter “Reproducing Plant Bodies on the Great Plains” appears in Plants and Literature: Essays in Critical Plant Studies. She earned her MA from UNL and BA from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.

Brita Thielen is a first-year Masters student studying contemporary women’s literature and intersections between literature and popular culture, with particular interest in Dystopian novels, Young Adult fiction, and feminist re-tellings of literary fairy tales. This year, Brita is serving as a Research Assistant to Dr. Kwame Dawes and the African Poetry Book Fund. She received her B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Hispanic Studies from the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota. While at CSB, Brita completed an honors thesis entitled “Revitalizing a Genre: Beauties, Beasts, and Women Writers in the Western Tradition of the Literary Fairy Tale,” which she presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in 2011. In addition, her creative nonfiction has appeared in Midwest Literary Magazine and was anthologized by the same press in Off Season (2011)

Dee Thompson is a second year PH.D. student, formerly completing her Bachelor of Science in Speech/Theatre, Bachelor of Arts in English, and Master of Arts in English w/a Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She has written a collection of poetic works entitled “The Beggar’s Wheel,” consisting of scholarly essays about writing poetry, interviews, and free verse as well as formal poetry that explores structures of the sestina, villanelle, pantoum, and sonnet. Her work, “Burial Societies,” a response sestina to Washington Irving’s “English Sketches,” is published in “The Reynolds Review.”  Her focus area is Interdisciplinary 19th C Studies and Literature of Reform from 1850 through early 1900’s.


Nick White is a first-year Ph.D. Student in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing: Fiction. He holds a MA in English from Mississippi State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State University. His stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Indiana Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. You can reach Nick at