Writing Faculty

Masters candidates in both the MFA and MA programs have the opportunity to take workshops and writing courses while earning their degrees. Students are encouraged to take courses outside their concentration and many faculty teach across genres.

billmanJon Billman
Assistant Professor
E-mail: jbillman@nmu.edu

Jon Billman teaches creative writing to graduate students. He is also the fiction editor of Passages North. Jon commutes to campus by bike without regard to weather, which, along the shores of Lake Superior, is saying something significant. Jon Billman is a frequent contributor to outside Magazine and his collection of short stories, When We Were Wolves, was published by Random House. At one time, Jon was listed as one of the top fifty creative writing professors to follow on Twitter. You can learn more about Jon from his interview for Passages North.


Author Photo linocutMatthew Frank
(Nonfiction, Poetry)
Associate Professor
238 Gries Hall
Phone: 906-227-1840
E-mail: mfrank@nmu.edu

Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of the nonfiction books, Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer (W.W. Norton: Liveright), Pot Farm, and Barolo (both from the University of Nebraska Press), the poetry books, Warranty in Zulu (Barrow Street Press), The Morrow Plots, and Sagittarius Agitprop (both from Black Lawrence Press), and the chapbooks, Four Hours to Mpumalanga and Aardvark.  Recent and forthcoming work appears in The New Republic, Field, Epoch, AGNI, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, Seneca Review, Crazyhorse, The Normal School, DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, North American Review, Pleiades, Black Warrior Review, Quarterly West, Crab Orchard Review, The Best Food Writing, The Best Travel Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, Gastronomica, and others. He teaches creative writing (predominantly nonfiction courses, and the occasional poetry course) in the MFA Program at Northern Michigan University, where he is the Nonfiction Editor of Passages North.  This winter, he prepared his first batch of whitefish liver ice cream.  It paired well with onion bagels.
jen, colorJennifer Howard,
(Fiction, Nonfiction)
Director of MFA Program and Associate Professor
Phone: 906-227-1750
E-mail: jenhowar@nmu.edu

Jennifer A. Howard advises MFA students as Director of the MFA Program, and she also works closely with MFA and MA student editors as Editor-in-Chief of NMU’s national literary magazine Passages North. She teaches graduate and undergraduate fiction and nonfiction workshops. She writes primarily short-short prose, and her collection of flash, How to End Up, was published by New Delta Review. Jen misses the orange couch she lost from her office in the department’s recent move to a new building, but she is pricing beanbag chairs for thesis meetings and fantasy football talk.


Austin Hummell
263 Gries Hall
Phone: 906-227-1642
E-mail: ahummell@nmu.edu

Austin Hummell was born and raised in Florida, and has lived in the Upper Peninsula since 2000. He attended colleges in Illinois and Maine, and completed his PhD at the University of Missouri in 1993. He teaches Literature, Film and Poetry Writing. He has published poems in many anthologies and literary magazines, including Poetry, Quarterly West, Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, and has had work featured on Verse Daily. His books are Poppy, winner of the Del Sol Press Poetry Prize, and The Fugitive Kind, winner of the University of Georgia Press’s Contemporary Poetry Series.



Patricia Killelea

Assistant Professor
3212 Jamrich
Email: pkillele@nmu.edu

Assistant Professor Patricia Killelea received her Ph.D. in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis (June 2015) and her M.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry), also from UC Davis (2008). She is the author of the poetry collection Other Suns (Swan Scythe press, 2011), and her second poetry collection, titled Counterglow, is forthcoming from MANGO Publications in April 2016. Her scholarly research focuses on contemporary experimental Native American poetics and avant-garde literary history. Her poetry is widely published in journals such as Quarterly West, The Common, Waxwing, Spiritus, As/Us, and many others. She is also a musician and works in digital poetics, producing video poems and soundscapes. Find out more about her work at www.patriciakillelea.com.



Rachel May

Associate Professor
3206 Jamrich
E-mail: rmay@nmu.edu

Rachel May is the author of Quilting with a Modern Slant (Storey/Workman), named a Library Journal and Amazon Best Book of 2014, as well as a book of sewn images and prose, The Experiments: A Legend in Pictures & Words (Dusie Press, 2015), and a novel, The Benedictines (Braddock Avenue Books, 2016). She illustrated in thread Women Born with Fur & Out from the Pleiades (Jaded Ibis Press, 2015). Her visual and written work has been published in The Volta, 1913: A Journal of Forms, Michigan Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, New Delta Review, Meridian, The Literary Review, and many other journals. She earned a PhD in Literature & Cultural Studies from The University of Rhode Island and an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Montana and has been awarded residencies at The Millay Colony and The Vermont Studio Center. She’s at work on a book of creative nonfiction and a hybrid-genre memoir, as well as a scholarly collection on domesticity, and teaches nonfiction and literature courses.


JMAJosh Macivor-andersen

Assistant Professor
213 Gries Hall
Phone: 906-227-1675
E-mail: jmacivor@nmu.edu



Before academia, Josh MacIvor-Andersen was a regional television star (middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky), an oven manager for a traditional European-style bakery, a truck driver and baker for an NGO in the Balkans, and a professional tree climber. He is a graduate of Eastern University and UNC-Wilmington’s nonfiction writing program, where he taught multi-genre creative writing classes, nonfiction, literature, and a fine arts course on the creative process.

He is a contributor to magazines such as Geez, Sojourners, Prism, Garden and Gun, Our State, and National Geographic/Glimpse. His personal essays have appeared in Arts and Letters, Gulf Coast, The Paris Review Daily, Diagram, Northwest Review, Ruminate, and Fourth Genre, among others. He has won multiple awards and a Pushcart nomination for his essays and reporting, a Tennessee Tree Climbing Championship, an Excellence in Teaching award from UNC-Wilmington, and second place in a smile contest that, if he had taken first, would have garnered him free dental care for a year.

If asked to list the three most beautiful things in the world he would say his wife, Kathryn, his son, Levin the Magnificent Boy, and lugged, steel-frame bicycles of all makes and models.


Monica McFawn Author PhotoMonica McFawn
Assistant Professor
Jamrich Hall
Phone: (906) 227-2711
E-mail: monrobin@nmu.edu



Monica McFawn holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. McFawn’s debut story collection, Bright Shards of Someplace Else, won a Flannery O’Connor Award and was named a Michigan Notable Book, a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award, and an NPR “Great Read.” Her stories have appeared in journals such as Georgia Review, Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review and others, and her screenplays and plays have had readings in New York and Chicago.

She is also author of “A Catalogue of Rare Movements,” a poetry/art chapbook, and host of the Nathaniel Hawthorne-themed comedy podcast, The Hawthorne Effect. A recipient of a NEA Fellowship in Literature and a Walter E. Dakin fellowship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, McFawn is currently at work on a novel. She is the director of the MFA program at Northern Michigan University. More of her work can be found at www.monicamcfawn.com.

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