English Department Faculty
Dean Bakopoulos’ first novel, Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, was a New York Times Notable Book; he co-wrote and co-produced the film adaptation, which debuted at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival starring Jeffrey Wahlberg and Rashida Jones. His second novel, My American Unhappiness, was named one of the year’s best novels by The Chicago Tribune, and his third novel, Summerlong was an independent bookstore bestseller and is now in development as a feature film based on Bakopoulos' original screenplay. His fiction, essays, and op-eds have appeared in Zoetrope, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, Real Simple, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Progressive, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. The winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as NEA fellowships in both fiction (2006) and creative nonfiction (2016), Bakopoulos is writer-in-residence at Grinnell College and also teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program. He is also co-writing the television adaptation of Alissa Nutting's novel, Made for Love, for Paramount Studios.
George Barlow is a poet who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University, Hayward, a Master of Arts in American Studies and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry, both from the University of Iowa. He specializes in African-American literature, poetry, and teaches Craft of Poetry and the Poetry Seminar most semesters. George is the recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, and a Graduate Opportunity Fellowship from the University of Iowa. He is now a member of the Board of Directors of Humanities Iowa. He has published two volumes of poetry, Gabriel from Broadside Press, and Gumbo from Doubleday, and is co-editor with Grady Hillman and Maude Meehan of About Time III: An Anthology of California Prison Writing. George has poems appearing in numerous anthologies, including The Oxford Anthology of African American Poetry, The Anthology of American Sports Poems, The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Century African-American Poetry, Trouble the Water: 250 Years of African-American Poetry, Voices on the Landscape: Contemporary Iowa Poets, African American Literature, In Search of Color Everywhere, Color: A Sampling of Contemporary African -American Writing, Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945, The Jazz Poetry Anthology, The Best of Intro, New American Poets of the 80s, Giant Talk: Voices of the Third World, Eating the Menu, A Galaxy of Black Writing, and Celebrations: A New Anthology of Black American Poetry. He has published poems in many journals, including The Black Scholar, Caliban 2, River Styx, The Iowa Review, Antaeus, Callaloo, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod, The American Poetry Review, Yardbird Reader, Big Moon, Obsidian, A Fine Excess: Fifty Years of the Beloit Poetry Review, and most recently, Seneca Review: The Lyric Body. He has had work accepted by theafricanamerican.com, an online literary magazine, and Iowa City's 2006 Poetry in Public Project, through which his poem "Neptune" was printed on posters and displayed in downtown kiosks, on City buses, and in other public places.
John Garrison is the author of four books, Friendship and Queer Theory in the Renaissance (Routledge, 2014), Glass (Bloomsbury, 2015), Shakespeare at Peace (co-authored with Kyle Pivetti, Routledge, 2018), and Shakespeare and the Afterlife (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Professor Garrison’s work appears in recent and forthcoming issues of scholarly journals such as GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Literature/Film Quarterly, Milton Quarterly, and Shakespeare. He has also published work in more mainstream magazines such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and Strange Horizons.
He is currently completing a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Hai-Dang Phan was born in Vietnam and grew up in Wisconsin. He is the author of Reenactments: Poems and Translations (Sarabande Books, 2019) and Small Wars, a chapbook of poems (Convulsive Editions, 2016). His poems, translations, and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry, New England Review, jubilat, Prelude, Waxwing, Asymptote, and the Poetry Foundation’s literary blog, Harriet. His poetry has been included in anthologies such as Best American Poetry 2015, The Norton Introduction to Literature (13th Edition), and the Broadview Introduction to Literature (2nd Edition). A recipient of the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine and an Emerging Writers Award from New England Review, he has received fellowships and scholarships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Amy Clampitt Residency Program, and the American Literary Translators Association. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Florida and a doctorate in Literary Studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is currently at work on a second collection of poems and a book of essays.
Ralph James Savarese is the author of Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption (Other Press 2007), which Newsweek called a “real life love story and a passionate manifesto for the rights of people with neurological disabilities.” It won the Independent Publishers Gold Medal in the category of health/medicine/nutrition, and a chapter was selected as a “notable essay” in the Best American Essays series of 2004. The book was featured on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” (twice), ABC’s "Nightly News with Charles Gibson,” and NPR’s “Diane Rehm Show.” He is also the co-editor of Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write about Fatherhood (Rutgers University Press 2010) and of a special issue of Seneca Review entitled “The Lyrical Body” (2010).
His poems, creative nonfiction, and translations have appeared in American Disasters, American Poetry Review, ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), Autism Perspectives, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Edge City Review, Flyway, For New Orleans and Other Poems, Graham House Review, Fourth Genre, Gravity Draws You In, Modern Poetry In Translation, New England Review, the New York Times, Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write About Fatherhood, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, Poetry International, Poetry Motel, The Poker, Potpourri, Rattle, Segue, Seneca Review, Sewanee Review, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, and Stone Canoe. His reviews and opinion pieces have appeared in American Book Review, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Austin American Statesman, the Baltimore Sun, the Cincinnati Post, the Dallas Morning News, the Des Moines Register, the Gainesville Sun, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the LA Times, the Louisville Courier Journal, and the Tallahassee Democrat.
He’s currently working on a novel entitled Republican Fathers and a book of poems entitled The World Is a Fine Place. He teaches American literature, creative writing, and disability studies at Grinnell.
Paula V. Smith. Raised mostly outside the United States in a Foreign Service family, Paula Vene Smith attended Interlochen Arts Academy for her last two years of high school. She is the author of two books: Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and a novel published in Spanish, Italian, and Russian translations (2010). The Painter’s Muse in English remains available to an interested publisher. Paula has published many short pieces in literary journals, including poetry in Flyway and Red Cedar Review and short fiction in The North American Review and Bellevue Literary Review. Building on years of work in academic administration, Paula’s professional articles on risk management appear in University Business, Risk & Insurance magazine, Inside Higher Ed, and elsewhere. Over the years Paula has contributed to collaborative projects with photographers, composers, and visual artists. In 1996 she joined with Mary Swander, Edward Hirsch, Ray Young Bear, and other poets to write the libretto for “Broken Ground,” a choral-orchestral piece composed by Jonathan Chenette. This commissioned work was performed by the Des Moines Symphony and Grinnell Singers to celebrate the State of Iowa Sesquicentennial. In 2012 Paula contributed a set of poems to the iBook, Texture, by photographer Dan Ferro. More recently an audio recording of her poem, “Summer,” was selected for inclusion in the Telepoem Booth, a national multimedia art installation that repurposes vintage telephone booths in a variety of U.S. cities, inviting members of the public to dial up and listen to a poem.