Johannes Göransson (Current Program Director)


I am interested in approaches to writing that cross boundaries—such as genre conventions and linguistic borders—and blur the demarcations of the autonomous text. I am the author of three books: A New Quarantine Will Take My Place, Dear Ra and Pilot (Johann the Carousel Horse)—with one more forthcoming in 2011, The Entrance Pageant. I wrote a performance piece The Widow Party, which was performed at Links Hall in Chicago in 2008. I am also the translator of the works of several modern and contemporary Swedish and Finland Swedish poets and writers—including Aase Berg, Henry Parland and Johan Jönson.

As a teacher, I like to bring students’ attention to a wide variety of texts and to help them develop interesting frameworks for reading and discussing these texts. A creative writing class should not be a normalizing workshop of finished products, but a site for exploration and interaction.

I have written critically about contemporary American and Swedish poetry, translation theory, the historical avant-garde, Sylvia Plath, and Gurlesque poetry and other neo-gothic aesthetics. In addition, I have a special interest in film, particularly the 1960s underground cinema of Kenneth Anger and Jack Smith.

Together with Joyelle McSweeney I publish Action Books; and together with McSweeney, and John Woods, I edit the online zine Action, Yes.

356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

E-mail :
Phone: 574-631-7618

Joyelle McSweeney


Poetry, Prose, Translation, Theory

BA magna cum laude, Harvard; M.Phil., Oxford University; MFA University of Iowa Writers Workshop

Joyelle McSweeney is the author of two hybrid-genre novels: Flet, a sci-fi (Fence, 2008) and Nylund, the Sarcographer (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007), a baroque-noir. She is also the author of two volumes of poetry, The Commandrine and Other Poems (Fence, 2004) and The Red Bird, which was chosen by Allen Grossman to inaugurate the Fence Modern Poets Series in 2001. With Johannes Göransson, she publishes Action Books  and Action, Yes, a press and web-quarterly dedicated to international writing and hybrid forms.

McSweeney’s areas of interest and teaching include poetry, prose, and translation; performance and dramatic form; manifestos, art and politics; theory and media studies; mixed and intermedia art and writing; mixed, hypergenred and non-genred writing; disability studies and gender studies; as well as modern and contemporary literature and various avant gardes. She has written critical articles and manifestos on all of the above as well as review articles on such authors as Alice Notley, Hannah Weiner, Anne Carson, and Lyn Hejinian for such journals as the Boston Review, American Book Review, and boundary2. Other authors and artists of special interest include Antonin Artaud, Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, Kate Bernheimer, Roberto Bolaño, Pume Bylex, Hiromi Itō, and Aimé Césaire.

A new volume of poems and plays is forthcoming from Fence in Spring 2012.

Recent Publications:
“The Warm Mouth.” My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales. New York: Penguin, 2010. (play)
Flet. New York: Fence Books, 2008. (novel)
Nylund, The Sarcographer. Vermont: Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2007. (novel)
The Commandrine and Other Poems. New York: FenceBooks, 2004. (poems and play)
The Red Bird. New York: Fence Books, 2002. (poems)

356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

E-mail :
Phone: 574-631-9870
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Orlando Menes


Orlando Ricardo Menes is Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame where he teaches creative writing, literature, and translation. His latest poetry collections are Heresies (University of New Mexico Press, 2015) and Fetish, winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. He is also the author of Furia (Milkweed, 2005) and Rumba atop the Stones (Peepal Tree, 2001). His poems have appeared in several prominent anthologies, as well as literary magazines like Ploughshares, Harvard Review, The Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, Hudson Review, Shenandoah, Callaloo, Indiana Review, River Styx, Epoch, Spoon River Poetry Review, New Letters, Crab Orchard Review, and Green Mountains Review. In addition, Menes is editor of Renaming Ecstasy: Latino Writings on the Sacred (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2004) and The Open Light: Poets from Notre Dame, 1991-2008 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). Besides his own poems, Menes has published translations of poetry in Spanish, including My Heart Flooded with Water: Selected Poems by Alfonsina Storni (Latin American Literary Review Press, 2009). That same year he received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poetry delves into questions of liminality, the hybrid sacred, diaspora and exile, and the relationship between the cross-cultural imagination and a poetics of the baroque.

356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

E-mail :
Phone: 574-631-4110

Valerie Sayers


Valerie Sayers mostly writes prose. She is the author of six novels, all equally concerned with narrative play, philosophy, and politics: she considers them comic and dead serious. Her most recent is The Powers, which contemplates baseball and pacifism in parallel narratives of prose and photography. Who Do You Love and Brain Fever were named New York Times “Notable Books of the Year,” and a film, “Due East,” was based on her novels Due East and How I Got Him Back. All six novels have been reprinted in uniform paperback editions from Northwestern University Press. Sayers’s work appears widely, in such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Commonweal, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, Image, and Witness, and has been cited in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. Her literary prizes include a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes for short stories. The William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English, she has received Notre Dame’s Kaneb, Joyce, and Sheedy Teaching Awards. Her focus in the Creative Writing Program is on supporting writers as they define and refine their own aesthetic and philosophical values.

356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

E-mail :
Phone: 574-631-7160
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Roy Scranton

Scranton Profile

Degrees: BA and MA, The New School; PhD, Princeton University
Specialties: Creative nonfiction, fiction, literary journalism, war writing, environmental humanities, 20th century American literature

Assistant Professor of English

Roy Scranton is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (City Lights, 2015) and the novel War Porn (Soho Press, 2016). His essays, journalism, short fiction, and reviews have appeared widely. In addition, Roy co-edited Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War (Da Capo, 2013). Roy's New York Times essay “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene” was selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014, and his essay “The Terror of the New” was selected as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015. He was the recipient of a Mrs. Giles G. Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities (2014–2015), won the Theresa A. White Literary Award for short fiction (2009), and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University (2016). Roy’s current project, The Politics of Trauma: World War II and American Literature, is a critical genealogy of American World War II literature, tracing how a complex array of texts exploring the problem of the hero in industrial capitalism was obscured and displaced, during and after the Vietnam War, by a literary canon centered on narratives of American trauma.

Selected Publications

  • War Porn. New York: Soho Press, 2016. 
  • Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2015.
  • Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. Co-edited with Matt Gallagher. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2013.
  • “The Fantasy of American Violence.” New York Times, 3 July 2016.
  • “We’re Doomed. Now What?” New York Times, 21 December 2015.
  • “Tourists at the End of the World,” The Nation, 9 November 2015.
  • “An Iraqi Band’s (Semi) Happy Ending,” Rolling Stone, 9 April 2015.
  • “The Trauma Hero: From Wilfred Owen to Redeployment and American Sniper,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 25 January 2015.
  • “Back to Baghdad: Life in the City of Doom,” Rolling Stone, 31 July 2014.
  • On Anne Carson, <Red DocContemporary Literature 55:1, Spring 2014.
  • “The Terror of the New,” Sierra Nevada 25, 2014.
  • “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene,” New York Times, 10 November 2013.
  • “The Curse of Coherence: Cold War CIA Funding for Oulipo’s Confidence-Man,” The Appendix, 31 October 2013.
  • “Recognizing the Thing Itself in Harry Mathews’s Cigarettes,” Contemporary Literature 54:3, Fall 2013.
  • On Anselm Berrigan, Notes from IrrelevanceBoston Review, 4 September 2013.
  • “America (Song of Pleasure),” Epiphany, Fall/Winter 2012/2013.

Postal address
Department of English
356 O’Shaughnessy
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Steve Tomasula

Steve Tomasula

Steve Tomasula is the author of the novels The Book of Portraiture; VAS: An Opera in Flatland, the acclaimed novel of the biotech revolution; IN&OZ; and TOC: A New-Media Novel (which received the Mary Shelly Award for Excellence in Fiction, and has just been released as an app for iPad). He is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Once Human: Stories.

Incorporating narrative forms of all kinds—from comic books, travelogues, journalism or code to Hong Kong action movies or science reports—Tomasula’s writing has been called a ‘reinvention of the novel,’ combining an ‘attention to society in the tradition of Orwell, attention to language in the tradition of Beckett, and the humor of a Coover or Pynchon.’ His writing often crosses visual, as well as written genres, drawing on science and the arts to take up themes of how we represent what we think we know, and how these representations shape our lives.

More than 50 of his short stories have been in magazines such as Bomb, McSweeney’s, The Iowa Review, and Western Humanities Review. His critical essays on art and literature have been published internationally in journals, including Leonardo, Kunstforum, and Études anglaises: revue du monde Anglophone. His essays and fiction are also included in anthologies such as Musing the Mosaic (SUNY), Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge), The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature, and The Year’s Best SF (Harper Collins). He holds a doctorate in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and was recently named a Howard Fellow.

356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556


E-mail :
Phone: 574-631-7647

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi


Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Fra Keeler (Dorothy, a publishing project). She is the winner of 2015 Whiting Writers’ Award (for “early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come”), a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree, the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship in Fiction to Catalonia, Spain, and a Fellowship from the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes in Barcelona. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from GRANTABOMBThe Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly JournalParis Review DailyGuernicaThe BelieverThe Brooklyn RailWords Without Borders, and elsewhere. She has lived in Iran, Spain, Italy, various parts of the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. Fra Keeler has been translated into Italian and was published by Giulio Perrone Editore in 2015. Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi splits her time between South Bend, Indiana, and Florence, Italy. Her next novel is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Specialty: Fiction Writing, Latin American and Iberian Literature, World Literature, Literature in Translation

Degrees: MFA Literary Arts (Fiction), Brown University; BA Creative Writing; Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego

356 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Phone: 574-631-0477