Oregon State University

MFA Faculty

David BiespielDavid Biespiel
Instructor of English and Creative Writing (Poetry)

David Biespiel's teaching and research interests include the history of poetry, poetics, and the creative process. His fourth collection of poetry, The Book of Men and Women (University of Washington Press), was named Best Poetry of the Year for 2009 by the Poetry Foundation, and won an Oregon Book Award. He is also the author of Wild Civility (University of Washington Press, 2003), Pilgrims and Beggars (Portlandia, 2002), and Shattering Air, (BOA), as well as a book on creativity, Every Writer Has a Thousand Faces (Kelson Books, 2011). His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Parnassus, The New Republic, and the New York Times Book Review, and in 2010 he was elected to the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. He is a frequent contributor to Politico's Arena, a former editor of Poetry Northwest, and he is the founder and president of The Attic Institute in Portland. He received his BA from Boston University, his MFA from the University of Maryland, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University from 1993-1995. His website is http://davidbiespielbooks.wordpress.com/.


Tracy Daugherty
Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing (Prose)


Tracy Daugherty’s research and teaching interests explore the intersections of public and private lives, art, architecture, music, and science, as well as urban life and American deserts, real and imagined. He is the author of four novels, four short story collections, a book of personal essays, and two literary biographies.  His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, The Georgia Review, and other magazines.  Hiding Man, his biography of Donald Barthelme (St. Martin's, 2009) was a New York Times and New Yorker Notable Book of the Year.  His newest book, Just One Catch, a biography of Joseph Heller (St. Martin's, 2011) was excerpted in Vanity Fair. His He received his B.A. and M.A. from Southern Methodist University and his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. His website is http://www.tracydaugherty.com.


Karen Holmberg
Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing (Poetry)
MFA Director, Creative Writing

Axis MundiKaren Holmberg’s teaching and research interests include creative nonfiction and the lyric essay, translation, the intersections of poetry and science, and letterpress printing and the poetics of visual space. Her first book, The Perseids, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published by the University of North Texas Press; her second book, Axis Mundi, is the winner of the John Ciardi Prize and was published by BkMk Press in 2012. Individual poems have appeared in such magazines as The Paris Review, Quarterly West, Slate, The Nation, Cimarron Review, Southern Poetry Review, Cave Wall, Nimrod, Subtropics, and have won her a Discovery/The Nation Award.  Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Black Warrior Review, New England Review, and Indiana Review. She holds an MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Southern California, the MFA in poetry from the University of California-Irvine, and the PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Missouri. Her current writing project is a lyric novella/hybrid work based on a family history of emigration and orchard keeping.

Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello
Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing (Non-Fiction)

Let Me Clear My ThroatElena Passarello’s essays on pop culture, music, the performing arts, and the natural world have appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, Normal School, Ninth Letter, and the Iowa Review, among other publications. Her debut nonfiction collection, Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande 2012), explores the human voice in popular performance, and she co-wrote a series of devised nonfiction monologues for the 2012 music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart (Duke University Press). A recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, she received an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and BAs in English and Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her website is www.elenapassarello.com.


Jennifer Richter
Instructor of Creative Writing (Poetry)

Jennifer Richter’s book of poems, Threshold, has been a national bestseller and was named a 2011 Oregon Book Awards Finalist by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, and A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-five Years of Women’s Poetry.  She received her BA from Indiana University and her MFA from Penn State. She was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship in Poetry by Stanford University, where she taught in the Creative Writing Program for four years.  Her website is http://jenniferrichterpoet.com.

Susan Rodgers

Susan Jackson Rodgers
Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing (Prose)

rodgers bookSusan Jackson Rodgers’ teaching and research interests include the craft of the short story, the coming-of-age narrative, and the linked short-story collection.  She is the author of two books of stories:  Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6 (2012) and The Trouble With You Is (2004), which won the Mid-List Press First Series Award for Short Fiction.  Her stories have appeared in journals such as New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, Quick Fiction, Beloit Fiction Journal, StoryQuarterly, and North American Review.  She received her B.A. from Bowdoin College, her M.A. from Kansas State University, and her M.F.A. from the Bennington College Writing Seminars.  Her website is www.susanjacksonrodgers.com.


Marjorie Sandor
Professor of English and Creative Writing (Prose)

sandor-bookMarjorie Sandor’s teaching and research interests include the literary uncanny and myth in American fiction. She has written four books, including the recently released memoir, The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction (May 2011, Arcade Publishing). Her linked story collection, Portrait of my Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime: Stories (Sarabande Books), won the 2004 National Jewish Book Award in Fiction, and her book of essays, The Night Gardener (The Lyons Press), won the 2000 Oregon Book Award for Literary Nonfiction. Her work has twice appeared in Best American Short Stories, as well as in the Pushcart Prize XIII, and other anthologies. She received her B.A. from University of California at Davis and her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop.  Her website is http://www.marjoriesandor.com.

Keith Scribner

Keith Scribner

Professor of English and Creative Writing (Prose)


Keith Scribner's teaching and research interests include explorations of social class and the American dream in 20th century fiction, and the distinctions and cross-over between fiction and nonfiction. He has written three novels: The Oregon Experiment, Miracle Girl, and The GoodLife. His books appear in translation, and The GoodLife was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers series, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Daily Beast, TriQuarterly, American Short Fiction, Quarterly West, the Baltimore Sun, and the anthologies Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton) and Sudden Stories: The MAMMOTH Book of Miniscule Fiction. Scribner received his BA from Vassar College and MFA from the University of Montana. He was awarded Wallace Stegner and John L'Heureux Fellowships in Fiction at Stanford University, where he went on to teach in the Creative Writing Program as a Jones Lecturer. In 2010-2011 he was a fellow at Oregon State University's Center for the Humanities. His websites are http://keithscribner.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/KeithScribnerAuthor.

Contact Info

Writing, Literature, & Film 238 Moreland Hall 541.737.3244
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