Writers. Poets. Scholars. Essayists. Teachers.
SFA's Department of English and Creative Writing is composed of professors with a wide range of backgrounds, interests and experiences. You'll work with award-winning writers and literary critics who study and teach writing – academic, professional and creative – and language as it applies to everything from video games and modern poetry and 19th century literature, to folklore and feminist theory and science fiction, and so much more. One thing our English professors have in common: They love teaching as much as they love writing. They are passionate about sharing their knowledge with literary-minded Lumberjacks. They are well-skilled to guide students toward futures and careers in professions where this knowledge is most important.
Dr. Mark Sanders
Department Chair, Department of English and Creative Writing
Dr. Mark Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney) and a Ph.D. in modern poetry from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He also holds a second Ph.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Idaho. His teaching and research interests include composition, creative writing (poetry, fiction, nonfiction and prosody), introduction to literature, western American literature, modern poetry, British literature, contemporary poetry and Great Plains literature.
Sanders' short stories and creative essays have appeared in such journals as Glimmer Train, South Dakota Review, Shenandoah, North Dakota Quarterly, Ninth Letter, River Teeth, The Midwest Quarterly and Prairie Schooner, among others. His short story, Why Guineas Fly, was selected as one of the 100 notable short stories from 2006 by Stephen King in the 2007 edition of Best American Short Stories; his creative essay, Homecoming Parade, was similarly honored as one of the outstanding essays of the year in the 2016 edition of Best American Essays. Dr. Sanders is the author and editor of numerous books, including The Suicide, Before We Lost Our Ways, Here in the Big Empty, Landscapes with Horses, Conditions of Grace: New and Selected Poems, Why Guineas Fly: Stories, The Red Book: The Selected Poems of Kathleene West and The Weight of the Weather: Regarding the Poetry of Ted Kooser, among others. His anthology, A Sandhills Reader: 30 Years of Great Writing from the Great Plains, won the 2016 Nebraska Book Award. He received the Mildred Bennett Award for fostering Nebraska's literary heritage in 2007, and he was inducted into his high school alma mater's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018.
He has published more than 500 poems in journals in the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Australia, and he is a frequent consultant to such academic publishers as McGraw-Hill, Cengage and the University of Nebraska Press.
Andrew Brininstool holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Texas and an Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston. His areas of specialization include creative writing (fiction) and contemporary American literature. His work has appeared in such journals as Hobart, New South, Quick Fiction and the anthology Best New American Voices 2010. His collection of short stories, Crude Sketches Done in Quick Succession, was published by Queen's Ferry Press in 2015. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.
Deborah Bush received her Bachelor of Arts in 1985 and Master of Arts in English in 1987 from SFA. She has been a member of the adjunct English faculty since 1988, and her teaching specialties are developmental, freshman composition and western world literature.
Dr. Megan Condis
Dr. Megan Condis is the coordinator for the English department's technical writing minor, and her research interests include discourse and identity on the internet. Her book, Playing Politics: Trolls, Fake Geeks, and the Game of Masculinity in Online Culture, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. Her scholarship has appeared in such journals as The Journal of Modern Literature, Gender Forum and Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities. She received her Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
Jamie Couch has taught freshman composition at SFA since the fall of 2000.
Dr. Jacqueline Cowan
Dr. Jacqueline Cowan holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Her areas of specialization include early modern British literature, restoration literature and the history of science and technology. She is a Wisely Fellowship recipient at SFA; recent scholarship includes The Imagination's Arts: Poetry and Natural Philosophy in Bacon and Shakespeare in Studies in Philology and Francis Bacon's New Atlantis and the Alterity of the New World in Literature and Theology. She has also made presentations at conferences of the Shakespeare Association of America, the Central Modern Language Association and the Modern Language Association.
Jillian DeFore received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from SFA (Axe ‘Em, Jacks!). She has taught freshman composition and technical writing since 2006.
Dr. Michael Given
Dr. Michael Given holds a Bachelor of Science in cinema, a Master of Arts in 19th century literature and a Ph.D. in 20th century British literature from Southern Illinois University. He has recently published in Clues: A Journal of Detection and Working Papers in Irish Studies. He has also presented scholarship at meetings of the Popular Culture Association, American Studies Association and South Central Modern Language Association. Given's teaching specialties include dystopian literature, Irish literature and literary approaches to textual analysis.
Dr. Marc Guidry
Associate Dean and Professor
Dr. Marc Guidry holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Loyola University and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University. His research and teaching interests include Middle English literature, medieval political history, Arthurian romance, linguistics, gender studies and autobiography. His book, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press, is Geoffrey Chaucer's The Knight's Tale.
Dr. Sara Henning
Visiting Assistant Professor
Sara Henning is the author of two volumes of poetry, most recently “View from True North,” which won the 2017 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. Her other collections include “A Sweeter Water,” as well as two chapbooks, “Garden Effigies” and “To Speak of Dahlias.” In 2015, she won the Crazyhorse Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize, judged by Alberto Ríos. She has published poems in many journals and anthologies, most notably Quarterly West, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Witness, Meridian, and the Cincinnati Review. She also has a record of publication in fiction and nonfiction, with flash fiction and lyric essays published in journals such as Connotation Press, where she appeared as featured author for the September 2016 issue, and 4 P.M. Count, a journal associated with the Arts Endowment’s interagency initiative with Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons in Yankton, South Dakota. She teaches writing at SFA, where she also serves as poetry editor for SFA Press.
Dr. Ericka Hogland
Dr. Ericka Hoagland’s specializations include postcolonial literature and theory, with a focus on African literature, as well as feminist theory, travel writing and science fiction/fantasy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Eastern Washington University and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. Her book, co-edited with Reema Sarwal, is Science Fiction, Imperialism, and the Third World.
Sheila Jones is a graduate of SFA's Department of English and Creative Writing. She has been a speaker on topics relative to sexual and domestic abuse and is a member of the S.A.V.E. coalition on campus. She is also a facilitator through the OneLove organization.
Deborah Kirkland holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from SFA.
Dr. Eralda Lameborshi received her Master of Arts from SFA, and she completed her Ph.D. in English from Texas A&M University in 2016. She has presented her scholarship at such conferences as the 21st World Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, the Southwest Council for Latin American Studies, the English Institute at the University of Chicago and the National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on Transcending Boundaries: The Ottoman Empire, Europe and the Mediterranean World.
Kirstie Linstrom holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from SFA.
Billy Longino received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing and his Master of Arts from SFA. His short fiction has appeared in such journals as Permafrost and Black Warrior Review.
Dr. Steven Marsden
Dr. Steven Marsden holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Western Illinois University, a Master of Arts in English literature from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in English literature from Texas A&M University. His research interests include American poetry, biography and autobiography, transcendentalism and pragmatism, reader response theory and horror in literature. A recent critical essay, Unmasking the Lynching Subject: Thomas Nelson Page, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the Specters of American Race, was published in Haunting Realities: Naturalist Gothic and American Realism by the University of Alabama Press.
Dr. Michael Martin
Dr. Michael Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Quincy University, and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Illinois State University. He has published his work in such journals as Peer English, Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Studies in American Naturalism, and The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review, among others. His research and teaching interests include contemporary American literature, the American road novel, 1950s literary naturalism, southern naturalism, and Jack London. Currently, he is the coordinator of the English and Secondary Education program in the Department of English and Creative Writing.
Dr. Christine Butterworth-McDermott
Dr. Christine Butterworth-McDermott holds the rank of full professor and teaches creative writing, Modernism, and fairy tales at SFA. Her collection, “Woods & Water, Wolves & Women,” includes poems nominated for a Rhysling Award and honorably mentioned in “The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (17th and 18th).” She has also published a chapbook, “Tales on Tales: Sestinas.” A full-length collection about 19th century showgirl Evelyn Nesbit, “Evelyn As” and a chapbook, “All Breathing Heartbreak” will be published in 2019. Her poems, short stories and creative nonfiction have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, The Normal School, RATTLE, River Styx, Southeast Review, and more. She is the founder and co-editor of Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, an online journal staffed by SFA alumni from the Creative Writing program and has led summer poetry workshops for The Writers League of Texas. In 2019, she was nominated for the position of state poet laureate. Her academic work has been published in American Transcendental Quarterly, Katherine Mansfield Studies, The Henry James Review, and the book “Twice-Told Children's Tales.”
Dr. John McDermott
Dr. John McDermott holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Arts from Marquette University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His areas of interest include creative writing and contemporary American literature. His book of poetry is The Idea of God in Tennessee (2015). Among his creative publications are appearances of fiction and poetry in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cream City Review, Florida Review, The Pinch, Southeast Review and Southern Humanities Review. Scholarly publications appear in The Journal of Popular Culture, The Raymond Carver Review and the American Writers series. He has read his work at the AWP conference and the University of Memphis/The Pinch, and presented scholarship at the Society for the Study of the Short Story conference in Lisbon, Portugal. As coordinator of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in creative writing, he has directed 54 senior theses in addition to chairing 15 Master of Arts theses.
Rhanda McGee holds a Master of Arts from SFA.
Jennifer McLaughlin holds a Master of Arts from SFA. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. at Texas Tech.
Aaron Milstead holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English from SFA. His work has appeared in several publications, including Nuthouse Magazine, Dark Krypt, Nocturnal Ooze, Growing Darkness and 31 Eyes Fantasy. His novel, They Don't Check Out, was published in 2015, and two other novels, Wiseman and The Monkey and the Mask, are in circulation. In 2014, he was nominated for Adjunct of the Year.
Laura Osborne joined the adjunct English faculty at SFA in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Louisiana State University and a Master of Arts in English from Texas A&M University. She is a certified training professional for online instruction at SFA.
Dylan Parkhurst holds degrees in art and English, and he received his Master of Arts in English from SFA. He was a longtime adjunct faculty member before being promoted to lecturer.
Dr. Christopher Sams
Dr. Christopher Sams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Youngstown State University, a Master of Arts in linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in romance linguistics from SUNY University at Buffalo. He holds an advanced certificate in forensic linguistics from The Forensic Linguistics Institute, and he is a certified online course developer and instructor at SFA. He is the coordinator of the English education program. Under his guidance, the English education program at SFA has become one of a half-dozen programs in the state of Texas to be nationally certified with the National Council of Teachers of English.
Dr. Jessica Sams
Dr. Jessica Sams’ research and teaching interests include general linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, English etymology and grammar and the study of literature from a linguistic perspective. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from Truman State University and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Sams created SFA’s unique Invented Languages course, which includes the study of languages invented for works like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
Dr. Michael Sheehan
Dr. Michael Sheehan holds a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York College at Geneseo, a Master of Arts from St. John’s College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. His research and teaching interests include creative writing and contemporary American literature. His short fiction has appeared in Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, Agni, Conjunctions, Terrain and elsewhere, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has also made scholarly presentations at the first annual David Foster Wallace Conference and AWP. His book is Proposals for the Recovery of the Apparently Drowned. Sheehan is also co-advisor of the student organization Subplots: Friends of Creative Writers.
Dr. Elizabeth Davis Tasker
Dr. Elizabeth Davis Tasker holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, a Master of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in English from Georgia State University. Her research interests include 18th century British female writers as well as the history and theory of satire, and she is currently writing a book manuscript on 18th century British women's rhetoric. She has been a recent Wisely Fellow at SFA.
Kristin Thomas is a graduate of SFA. She leads dual-credit coursework in English at Nacogdoches Independent School District, where she teaches full-time.
Dr. Kenneth Untiedt
Dr. Kenneth Unteidt holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. His research interests include literature of the American West, Texas literature and folklore. Untiedt directs the Texas Folklore Society, the longest-running organization of its kind in the U.S., from its location at SFA.
Dr. Amber Wagnon
Dr. Amber Wagnon recently received her Ph.D. from Texas Tech; she received her Master of Arts from SFA. Her scholarship, Improving Writing Feedback with Options, has appeared in English in Texas, and she has presented her research at conferences of the Texas Computer Education Association, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Central Modern Language Association and Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.
Kristi Warren received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from SFA.
Dr. Kevin West
Dr. Kevin West holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harding University, a Master of Arts in comparative literature from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in theology from Harding University Graduate School of Religion and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Indiana University. His research interests include medieval European literature, apocalypticism, religion and literature and the contemporary world novel. He has published on such authors as Umberto Eco and Philip Roth, and he has presented on Dante's Commedia and other medieval visionary literature. Recent publications include Tokens of Sin, Badges of Honor: Julian Norwich and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature. His book, Literary Representations of Dangerous Reading, is forthcoming from Lexington Books.
Leann West received her Bachelor of Science from William Carrey College in Mississippi and her Master of Arts in English from SFA.
Dr. Sue Whatley
Dr. Sue Whatley received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include Southern literature, particular Flannery O'Connor's fiction. Her scholarship has appeared in Flannery O'Connor: An Annotated Bibliography, Proceedings of the Faith and Loss: Light in Darkness Conference and Rio Grande Review, among others. She has presented at such conferences as American Association of Texas Studies, Arkansas Philological Association, Conference of College Teachers of English, Flannery O'Connor Conference, College English Association Conference and numerous others.
Dr. Courtney Wooten
Dr. Courtney Wooten holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wingate University, a Master of Arts in English from Winthrop University and a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research interests include writing program administration, first-year composition, literacy studies and student transitions from high school to college. She is involved in national service for the Council of Writing Program Administrators and is the director of the SFA First-Year Composition Program. Wooten's recent scholarship includes a co-authored article in WPA journal and being designated as the book review editor of that journal. She also has a book forthcoming from Utah State University Press.
Gina Ajero is the administrative assistant for the Department of English and Creative Writing. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts in English from Heilongjiang University in Harbin, China and a Master of Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia. She has worked at SFA since 2007, and she enjoys supporting faculty and staff within the department.
Larry Bishop earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from SFA. He has served on SFA’s Technical Writing Committee, on the editorial board of R.E.A.L., and as a mentor for graduate students. He is a recipient of the Ferguson Writing Contest. Bishop has been with SFA’s English department for more than 20 years.
Annaliese Chaudhari earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing from SFA, and she holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Master of Arts in English from McNeese State University. During her time as a student at SFA, she served as the poetry editor and the editor-in-chief of HUMID. Her work has appeared in several publications, including Spirit’s Tincture, Mojave River Review, The Blue Route and HUMID.
James Clark received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts from SFA, and now teaches freshman composition at SFA. He won the 2015 AWP Intro Award for Fiction, and his winning story was published in Iron Horse Literary Review.
Rebecca Crain has worked for SFA for more than 20 years.
Anne Duncan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University and a Master of Arts in English from SFA. Her teaching interests include young adult literature, mythology, composition and technical writing. Duncan is one of SFA’s certified online instructors.
Meta Henty earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master of Arts in English from SFA. Her teaching and research interests include women’s writing, new media, gender and pop culture and composition. Her work has appeared in publications such as HUMID, Theocrit and Authorship. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English at Texas Christian University.
Seth Wilson teaches theater and English at SFA. He is also a winner of the TV game show Jeopardy (in 2016, he tied for fifth in all-time consecutive wins in the show’s history). In 2017, he appeared on Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions.