Paula V Smith

Offices, Departments, or Centers: English ,

Paula Vene Smith’s recent publications include “Refashioning Diary Studies: The Tradition of Black Women’s Diaries” in a/b: Autobiography Studies and (forthcoming) “Day Today: Circadian Rhythms and the Sense of Unending in Poetic Diaries by Gertrude Stein and Harryette Mullen” in the Journal of Modern Literature.  Recent shorter pieces on the diary include a review of Alice Walker’s journals for Salon, an essay on handwritten diaries for The Conversation, and an interview with Authority Magazine. Her early work, mostly poems and short fiction, appeared in literary journals such as Flyway, Red Cedar Review, North American Review, and Bellevue Literary Review. Translation rights to her novel The Painter's Muse were sold in 2008 to multiple international publishers. She has been awarded writing residencies by the Communication Arts Institute, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) and the Ragdale Foundation. As a high-school student she attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and went on to earn degrees from Swarthmore College (BA) and from Cornell University (MFA/PhD), where her fiction thesis director was Alison Lurie. Her teaching experience includes creative writing workshops, Humanities 101 (ancient Greek literature in translation), a tutorial in Old English verse, and seminars on Virginia Woolf and other modernist writers. To teach in Grinnell's London-based study-abroad program Smith developed a course on “The London Diary,” a broader version of which she now offers as ENG-210 “Studies in Genre: Diaries and Journals.” In over 30 years on the faculty at Grinnell College, Smith has served as English department chair, founding director of Writers at Grinnell, elected member of the Executive Council and Faculty Personnel Committee, associate dean of the college, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and director of the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project. Her nationally recognized work in academic risk management resulted in the book Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders in 2015.

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