2018 Gathering Faculty Bios



Keynote Susan Neville is the author of four works of creative nonfiction: Indiana Winter, Fabrication: Essays on Making Things and making Meaning; Twilight in Arcadia; Iconography: A Writer’s Meditation and Sailing the Inland Sea. Her prize-winning collections of short fiction include In the House of Blue Lights, winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize and Invention of Flight, winner of the Flanner O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and in other anthologies, including Extreme Fiction and The Story Behind the Story. Recent stories and essays have appeared or will appear in The Southwest Review, The Missouri Review, The Collagist, Diagram, and Image. She lives in Indianapolis and is the Demia Professor of English at Butler University.


 Nancy Botkin’s poetry has been published in numerous journals including Poetry, Poetry East, Sycamore Review, POOL, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Laurel Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Eclipse, American Literary Review, California Quarterly and The South Dakota Review.  “Poem with Light and Dark,” won first prize in the 2005 Maize Poetry Prize sponsored by the Writers’ Center of Indianapolis.  Ted Kooser chose her poem “Geometry” for American Life in Poetry. “Love is Blue” was chosen for Not Like The Rest of Us, an anthology of fiction, non-fiction and poetry by Indiana writers. Her full-length poetry collection, Parts That Were Once Whole, was published by Mayapple Press in 2007.  In 2009, March Street Press published her chapbook In Waves. A third chapbook, Bent Elbow and Distance, was published by Finishing Line Press in July 2011. She was the September/October 2014 featured poet on The Wabash Watershed, website of Indiana’s poet laureate George Kalamaras. She has worked for the past 26 years in the English Department at Indiana University South Bend teaching first-year writing and creative writing.


Jill Christman is the author of Darkroom: A Family Exposure (AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction winner), Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood (Shebooks 2014), and essays in magazines and journals such as Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, TriQuarterly, Oprah Magazine, River Teeth, & Brain, Child. She teaches creative nonfiction writing in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she lives with her husband, writer Mark Neely, and their two children. Visit her at www.jillchristman.com & @jill_christman


Curtis L. Crisler was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He received a BA in English, with a minor in Theatre, from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), and he received an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Crisler’s book, THe GReY aLBuM [PoeMS], was picked by Steel Toe Books for their 2016 Open Reading Period, and will be published in 2018. His recent poetry books are Don’t Moan So Much (Stevie): A Poetry Musiquarium (Kattywompus Press) and “This” Ameri-can-ah (Cherry Castle Publishing). His poetry chapbook, Black Achilles, was published by Accents Publishing. His previous books are Pulling Scabs (nominated for a Pushcart), Tough Boy Sonatas (YA), and Dreamist: a mixed-genre novel (YA). Other chapbooks are Wonderkind (nominated for a Pushcart), Soundtrack to Latchkey Boy, and Spill (which won a Keyhole Chapbook Award). He is the recipient of a residency from the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh (COA/P), the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), Soul Mountain, a guest resident at Hamline University, and a guest resident at Words on the Go (Indianapolis). Crisler has received a Library Scholars Grant Award, Indiana Arts Commission Grants, Eric Hoffer Awards, the Sterling Plumpp First Voices Poetry Award, and he was nominated for the Eliot Rosewater Award and the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award. His poetry has been adapted to theatrical productions in New York and Chicago, and he has been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies. He edited the nonfiction book, Leaving Me Behind: Writing a new me, on the Summer Bridge experience at IPFW. He’s been a Contributing Poetry Editor for Aquarius Press and a Poetry Editor for Human Equity through Art (where he’s now a board member). He’s the creator of the Indiana Chitlin Circuit, and an Associate Professor of English at IPFW. He can be contacted at www.poetcrisler.com.


Angela Jackson-Brown is an award winning writer and poet who teaches Creative Writing and English at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is an editor with the literary journal 94 Creations. Her literary work has been widely published in journals like The Louisville review, New Southerner Literary Review, Toe Good Poetry, Uptown Mosaic Magazine and 94 Creations, to name a few. She is the author of Drinking From A Bitter Cup, her first novel. She recently completed her second novel, Final Innings and is now busy working on the sequel to Drinking From A Bitter Cup.


Sarah Layden's debut novel is TRIP THROUGH YOUR WIRES (Engine Books, 2015). Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Sudden Flash Youth, Stone Canoe, Blackbird, Artful Dodge, PANK, Ladies' Home Journal, The Humanist, and elsewhere. She is a winner of an AWP Intro Award, the Allen and Nirelle Galson Prize for Fiction, and two Society of Professional Journalists awards. She teaches writing at IUPUI and Marian University in Indianapolis.


Sean Lovelace lives in Indiana, where he directs the creative writing program at Ball State University. Recently, he published two flash fiction collections, Fog Gorgeous Stag (Publishing Genius Press) and They Could No Longer Contain Themselves (published with other flash fiction authors by Rose Metal Press). His latest collection is about Velveeta and published by Bateau Press. He has won several national literary awards, including the Crazyhorse Prize for Fiction and the Rose Metal Short-Short Prize. He reviews flash fiction for Diagram Magazine. He likes to run, far.


 Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill, and Dirty Bomb, both from Oberlin College Press. His awards include an NEA Poetry Fellowship, an Indiana Individual Artist grant, the FIELD Poetry Prize, and the Concrete Wolf Chapbook prize for Four of a Kind. He lives in Muncie, Indiana, with his wife—writer Jill Christman—and their two children. More about him, including links to his writing, can be found at www.markneely.com.



Kelcey Parker-Ervick is the author of The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová (Rose Metal Press), a hybrid work of biography, memoir, and visual art. Her previous books include Liliane's Balcony (Rose Metal Press), a novella-in-flash set at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, and For Sale By Owner (Kore Press), winner of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Award in Short Fiction and finalist for the 2012 Best Books of Indiana in Fiction. A recipient of grants from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, she teaches at Indiana University South Bend. Web site: http://www.kelceyervick.com/


Barbara Shoup is the author eight novels, including Night Watch, Wish You Were Here, Stranded in Harmony, Faithful Women, Vermeer’s Daughter, Everything You Want, An American Tune, and Looking for Jack Kerouac and the co-author of Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process and Story Matters. Her short fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous small magazines, as well as in The Writer and The New York Times Travel Section. Her young adult novels, Wish You Were Here and Stranded in Harmony were selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. Vermeer’s Daughter was a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults. She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, and the 2012 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Author Award. She is the Executive Director of the Indiana Writers Center.

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