Chris Bass is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Illinois Chicago.  He has taught English and Executive Functioning Skills in both Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago suburbs. His research interests include Disability Studies, Literacy Studies, and English Education. At UIC, he has taught courses in both the first year writing program and the English Education program. View Chris’s contributions here.


Kathleen Blackburn received the 2017 AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction and the UIC Goodnow Prize; her work has been listed as “Notable” in Best American Essays and has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellingham Review, DIAGRAM, Iron Horse Literary Review, Pilgrimage, The PinchPrime Number Magazine, River Teeth, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. With over five years experience teaching college-level composition and creative writing, she is currently a research assistant in the UIC Freshwater Lab.


Annah Browning is a Visiting Lecturer in the English Department and the Honors College at The University of Illinois-Chicago. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. from the Program for Writers at The University of Illinois-Chicago, and she is the author of a chapbook, The Marriage (Horse Less Press, 2013). Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review Online, Verse Daily, Willow Springs, and other journals, and have received awards and recognition from Boulevard, Indiana Review, Blue Mesa Review, and Vermont Studio Center. Her research interests include creative writing pedagogy, the Gothic, Romanticism, Emily Dickinson, persona poetry, and lyric theory. She is poetry editor of Grimoire, an online literary magazine of dark arts and Associate Editor of During Office Hours. Visit Annah’s website and read her contributions here.


During Office Hours

William Bowden. Following in the footsteps of his mother, William Bowden was interested from an early age in transnational literature of the nineteenth century. Over time, and with the help of numerous instructors, Bowden has developed an affinity for all things Virginia Woolf. Now, as a Ph.D. candidate, he is working with texts and theory from the nineteenth century to the early 20th century. Bowden is interested in continental philosophy beginning with Nietzsche, and more recently, struggling with the work of Michel Foucault and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Bowden is obsessed with the relationship between teaching and literature. Pedagogy as an interactive critical practice within an authoritative and standardized framework has become one of his center interests. Currently in his first year, Bowden plans to build upon his Master’s thesis “Virginia Woolf’s Aesthetic Pedagogy” (2017). His first publication appeared in the Journal For Media Literacy Education (2015) and his more recent invited publication for The Current reflects his intense desire to dismantle forms of education that are authoritative and replace them with a “horizontal” mode of learning (borrowing the phrase from Achille Mbembe) between teacher and student.


Janet Burroway is the author eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk, Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and the 2009 Bridge of Sand. Her Writing Fiction (9th edition) is the most widely used creative writing text in America, and Imaginative Writing has appeared in its 4th edition. Her plays include Medea With Child, Morality Play (a musical), Boomerang and Headshots, which have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Chicago. A collection of essays by older women writers, A Story Larger Than My Own, was published in 2014 by University of Chicago Press, and her memoir Losing Tim also appeared in the spring of 2014. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University and was chosen for the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Writing Award by the Florida Humanities Council. View Janet’s contributions here.


Dan Calhoun grew up in Florida, transplanted to Kansas (where he earned his MFA from Wichita State), and is now living it up in Louisiana. He’s currently a PhD candidate at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he also teaches English. He recently published a collection of short stories, and a play with Lit Riot Press. He also has spent the last year as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer program. View Dan’s contributions here.


John Casey is a Lecturer in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he teaches courses in First Year Writing and Literature Surveys.  Including his years as a Graduate Student Instructor, he has sixteen and a half years of teaching experience at the college level.  He has served as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in English and Assistant Director of First Year Writing.  In both positions, he was involved in attempts to revise the departmental curriculum for undergraduates.  He has presented papers on a wide variety of subjects that touch upon the teaching of writing and literature and currently serves as the Director of Anglophone/American Literatures for the Northeast Modern Language Association.  His current research interests include the representation of veterans in popular culture and farming metaphors in early U.S. fiction. View John’s contributions here.


Kelly Franklin is a full-time English instructor at Southwestern Community College in the hills of southern Iowa, and originally hails from central Illinois. On a typical day, Kelly can be found teaching: Intro to Composition, Research Writing, Technical Writing, Young Adult Literature, Dramatic Literature, and African American Literature. When she isn’t teaching, she can be found in the theater directing the SWCC Drama club, or at home with her four children, three cats, and two dogs. Currently, Kelly’s research interests are centered on feminism in media post-9/11, and gender performance. She is preparing to defend her Doctoral Capstone Project (about reading comprehension at the community college) in the summer of 2017. She is a passionate teacher, and avid Dr. Who fan. View Kelly’s contributions here.


Kristi Girdharry is an Assistant Professor of English at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island where she teaches courses in writing, research, and communication. She earned her PhD from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts where she completed her dissertation that involved turning a critical eye toward a digital archive she helped build to capture the ephemera following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Her research interests include public writing, university-community partnerships, pedagogy, and digital literacies and identities. View Kristi’s contributions here.


Chris Girman, Ph.D., J.D., is an assistant professor specializing in creative nonfiction for the Department of Literary Arts at Point Park University.  He is an immigration attorney and has taught middle school for several years. His latest work of creative nonfiction, “Wrestling Windmills,” appears in the anthology What I Didn’t Know: True Stories of Becoming a Teacher (2016).  View Chris’s contributions here



Hannah Green is a PhD student in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. While a creative writer by nature, she’s a teacher at heart and enjoys teaching writing in all its forms including composition, professional, technical, and creative writing. Her research interests include the place of the asylum in narratives of mental illness, the literature of Southern Africa, and oral storytelling. Her creative writing appears both in print and online in places such as The Rumpus, PANK, and McSweeney’s. Hannah is also the Editor-in-Chief of During Office Hours. View Hannah’s contributions here.


Sonya Huber has written five books, including three works of creative nonfiction: Opa Nobody, Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir, and the new essay collection Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Thoughts from A Nervous System. Her other books include The Evolution of Hillary Rodham Clinton and a textbook, The Backwards Research Guide for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Fourth Genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine,, and elsewhere. She received the 2012 Creative Nonfiction Award from Terrain, and her essays were named notable in Best American Essays 2014, 2015 and 2017. She teaches in the Department of English at Fairfield University and directs the Fairfield Low-Residency MFA Program. For more details, click here or view Sonya’s contributions here.


Dani Johannesen earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of South Dakota in 2012 and is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  She is the co-editor of Iconic Sports Venues: Persuasion in Public Spaces (Peter Lang, 2017), a collection of scholarly essays on the rhetorical implications of sports venues. Her scholarship and creative work has appeared in Brevity, Midwestern GothicSouth Dakota Review, The Nautilus: A Maritime Journal of History, Literature, and Culture, and elsewhere. Her scholarly interests include magical rural-ism, environmental literature, eco-criticism, and rhetorical studies. View Dani’s contributions here.


Katya Kulik is a recent PhD graduate from the Program for Writers at UIC. She has taught Creative Writing and Composition courses at UIC as a graduate student instructor for seven years, and before that, she was the ESL instructor at Moscow State University. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in ‘So to Speak’, New Mexico Review, CutBank, Jet Fuel Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She documents her life in mice cartoons at Mice Notes. View Katya’s contributions here.


Alex Luft is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois-Chicago and in the department of Media, Music and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. His fiction has appeared in Yemassee, Midwestern Gothic, The Coachella Review and other literary magazines. He teaches classes in creative writing, literature, media studies, journalism and composition. View Alex’s contributions here.


Tamilla Mammadova is an instructor of Writing and Information Literacy at ADA University, Azerbaijan, Baku. She holds PhD in Applied Linguistics from University of Santiago de Compostela. Dr. Mammadova’s areas of interest are evaluation of English language teaching materials, the use of technology in modern classes, spoken English, and Corpus Linguistics. View Tamilla’s contributions here.


Lee Martin is the Pulitzer Prize Finalist author of The Bright Forever, and four other novels: Quakertown, River of Heaven, Break the Skin, and  Late One Night. His other books are the memoirs, Such a Life, From Our House, and Turning Bones; and the short story collection, The Least You Need to Know. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as Harper’s, Ms., Creative Nonfiction, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and Glimmer Train. He is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University, where he was the winner of the 2006 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. View Lee’s contributions here.


Scott May is an assistant professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. He is the lead academic advisor for the accelerated associate degree program and the coordinator of the English program’s writing consulting efforts for the Lafayette campus. View Scott’s contributions here.



Amy Monticello is an Assistant Professor of English at Suffolk University. Her pedagogical writing has been published in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Brevity, and in the anthology Tuscaloosa Runs This (Slash Pine Press). She holds an MFA in creative writing from The Ohio State University, and lives in Boston with her husband and three-year-old daughter, who runs it all. View Amy’s contributions here.


Courtney Sloey is a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago, studying English with an emphasis in Rhetoric. Courtney has enjoyed a variety of teaching positions, working as a the teaching assistant for college courses in Rhetoric, Writing, and Composition while also taking up roles at the high school level in the subject areas of Grammar and Composition and Rhetoric and Style. Her research interests include the rhetoric of disaster and the response that language can and cannot supply to instances of extreme pain or trauma in addition to the study of political rhetoric and communication. View Courtney’s contributions here.


Jess Smith’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in JukedWaxwingWinter Tangerinecream city reviewSixth Finch, and other journals. She is currently a PhD student in English at Texas Tech University, where she co-founded and curates the LHUCA Literary Series. View Jess’s contributions here.



Brooks Sterritt holds degrees from Wake Forest University and Emerson College, and is a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His writing appears, or will appear, in The New RepublicHarvard ReviewSubtropicsPuerto del Sol, and Salt Hill



Eric Tan is an English Lecturer at the College of Dupage and an Adjunct English Instructor at Elmhurst College.  He has taught English composition, rhetoric, creative writing, and has also worked as a writing center tutor.   Eric graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and received his Master’s Degree from Elmhurst College.  He is an advocate for creative expression and encourages his students to reach their inspired potential through ventures beyond traditional essays. Currently, Eric is working on a Podcast project, that tries to teach teachers to not take teaching so seriously, with a colleague in Philosophy and Religious Studies. View Eric’s contributions here.


Molly E. Ubbesen is a dissertator in Rhetoric and Composition with a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests include composition pedagogy, writing program administration, feminist and queer rhetorics, and disability studies. She currently serves as the English 101 Coordinator and enjoys training and mentoring teachers. Molly also enjoys teaching a variety of composition and rhetoric classes and tutoring at the writing center. Before teaching at the college level, she taught high school English in Milwaukee Public Schools. View Molly’s contributions here


Cecilia Villarruel is a PhD student in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is focusing on creative nonfiction.  She received her MFA from Roosevelt University, where she earned the Best Creative Thesis Award for her fiction.  She has worked with Kindergartners and 1st graders through a literacy nonprofit in Chicago, grade school and high school students while serving in the Peace Corps in Namibia, and college students at UIC and with the City Colleges of Chicago.  She loves working with students of all ages, but her heart is in teaching at the college level.  View Cecy’s contributions here.


Jay Yencich is a poet, essayist, and critic.  He received his MFA from the University of Washington, where he was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize among other distinctions.  He presently holds a teaching fellowship in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Program for Writers Ph.D, where he studies ecopoetics, 17th century verse, Anglo-Saxon literature, and other odd topics that he draws connections between for fun. View Jay’s contributions here


Soha Youssef is a Doctoral Candidate in the Rhetoric and Writing program at Bowling Green State University. Her scholarly interest revolves around finding areas of intersection between composition and TESOL. Youssef’s dissertation study examines International Teaching Assistants’ needs and undergraduates’ expectations from an ITA preparation program. View Soha’s contributions here.