• M.F.A. Columbia University School of the Arts
  • B.A. Washington University

Areas of Expertise

  • Contemporary Literature
  • The Arts


The Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English, I have taught at Davidson since 1998.  My teaching interests include poetry and fiction writing, 20th- and 21st-century world literatures, and critical theory. I often work with students interested in lives as creative writers.

I am the author or editor of eighteen books: the novels Cry Uncle (2006),Whale Man (2011), The Committee on Town Happiness (2014), and Christmas in July (2018); and the books of poems Days Like Prose (1997), The Vandals (1999), Love Song with Motor Vehicles (2003), The Penates (2006), Elephants & Butterflies (2007), Ten Days (2010, with painter Herb Jackson), Long Division (2012), and The Ladder (2016). My next book of poems, The Age of Discovery, will be published by Tupelo Press in 2020.

I have edited five scholarly works: as co-editor of The Routledge Anthology of Cross-Gendered Poetry (1996), editor for North America of Who's Who in 20th Century World Poetry (2001), editor of The Imaginary Poets (2006), and co-editor of The Manifesto Project (2017). More than 250 poems and stories of mine have appeared in journals including American Poetry ReviewThe New YorkerThe New RepublicThe Paris ReviewPleiades, and The Yale Review. I have published essays and reviews in journals such as The BelieverThe Huffington PostThe New York Times Book Review, and The New Yorker, and been awarded residency fellowships from the American Academy in Rome, the Corporation of Yaddo, Fundacíon Valparaiso, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

My poems have been awarded three Pushcart Prizes, two inclusions in Best American Poetry; the Fineline Prize from the Mid-American Review; the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America; and the 2013, 2014, and 2019 Randall Jarrell Prizes. Long Division received the 2012 North Carolina Book Award in Poetry, and was short-listed for the Rilke Prize. Whale Man was a finalist for Foreword Review's "Book of the Year" Award in 2011, in the category of Literary Fiction. The Ladder received the 2017 Brockman-Campbell Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for "Book of the Year."

New work of mine may be found in American Poetry ReviewLos Angeles Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere.


  • ENG 110 Literature and Social Change
  • ENG 303 Advanced Poetry Writing
  • ENG 307 Forms of Fiction
  • ENG 387 Contemporary American Poetry