Faculty


Kate Aspengren

Kate Aspengren

Adjunct Assistant Professor

B.A., The University of Iowa
M.F.A., The University of Iowa, Playwrights Workshop
Phone:
319.399.8302
Email: kaspengr@coe.edu

Kate Aspengren's plays include Flyer, Rule of Nines, Too Fast to Fall, Adrift, and Blue Yonder. Her work has been published by Samuel French, Inc. and has been produced throughout the United States and Canada, including productions by Actors Theatre of Louisville, The New American Comedy Festival, Three Graces Theatre Company and Six Figures Theatre Company.  She teaches annually in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and holds a yearly residency at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Delaware.


Gina Hausknecht

Gina Hausknecht

John William King Professor of Literature and Creative Writing
Associate Dean for Student Academics

B.A., Oberlin College 
M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan

Phone: 319.399.8417
Email: ghauskne@coe.edu

Dr. Hausknecht teaches early modern British literature, including Shakespeare, British Renaissance poetry, and Milton. She also teaches a course on non-fiction graphic narrative featuring graphic novel memoir and comics journalism - a course that emerged from a student request for an independent study. She has published and presented on Milton, 17th century literature and culture, pedagogy, higher education, and gender studies. Her current research project, on the textual history of stage directions in editions of Shakespeare, is reflected in the interactive online learning tool All the World's a Stage Direction.


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Margaret LeMay

 

B.A., Barnard College 
M.F.A., University of Iowa 

Email: mlemay@coe.edu

Margaret LeMay teaches creative writing. Her poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, the Asian Pacific American Journal, Better, The Cortland Review, Little Village, Transom, and elsewhere. Her poem “The Heart Wakes Into” served as title and six movement subtitles for a piano quintet commissioned by and performed at the Library of Congress in 2014. Her work has been shortlisted for the Discovery/the Boston Review Poetry Prize and the Four Way Books Levis Prize. Professor LeMay’s writing interests include short hybrid forms, poetry, and the lyric essay.


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LaTanya McQueen

Visiting Assistant Professor 

B.F. A., Emerson College
M.F.A., Emerson College
Ph.D., University of Missouri

Phone: 319.399.8591
Email: lmcqueen@coe.edu

LaTanya McQueen is the author of the essay collection AND IT BEGINS LIKE THIS. Her fiction and nonfiction has been published in TriQuarterly, West Branch, Pleaides, New Ohio Review, The Arkansas International, The Florida Review, Bennington Review, Passages North, Black Warrior Review, Fourteen Hills, The North American Review, Ninth Letter, New Orleans Review, Indiana Review, and other journals. She received her MFA from Emerson College, her PhD from the University of Missouri, and was the 2017-2018 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College.


Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses

Assistant Professor 

B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
M.F.A., Emerson College
Ph.D., University of Houston

Phone: 319.399.8134
Email: msalesses@coe.edu

Matthew Salesses teaches Creative Writing and Asian American Literature. He is the author of two novels, I'm Not saying, I'm Just Saying and The Hundred-Year Flood, which was an Amazon Bestseller, Best Book of September, and Kindle First pick; an Adoptive Families Best Book of 2015; a Millions Most Anticipated of 2015; a Thought Catalog Essential Contemporary Book by an Asian American Writer; and a Best Book of the season at Buzzfeed, Refinery29, and Gawker, among others. Forthcoming are a new novel, The Murder of the Doppelgänger and a collection of essays, Own Story. In 2015, he was named one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers by Buzzfeed.


Amber Shaw

Amber Shaw

Assistant Professor, National Fellowship Advisor

B.A., Rhodes College
M.A., Ph.D., The University of Georgia

Phone: 319.399.8058
Email: ashaw@coe.edu

Dr. Shaw studies nineteenth-century American and Victorian literature and is particularly interested in the history of the novel, material culture, and gender studies. She teaches courses at Coe on early and nineteenth-century American literature, nineteenth-century fiction, American women writers, the Black Atlantic, and transnationalism across the long nineteenth century. Her recent essays appear in The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review and Crossings in Text and Textile (UPNE 2015). Dr. Shaw is also the faculty advisor for students and faculty who apply for Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman, Rhodes and Marshall Fellowships


Melissa Sodeman

Melissa Sodeman

Associate Professor, Chair

B.A., University of Washington, Seattle
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Phone: 319.399.8696
Email: msodeman@coe.edu

Melissa Sodeman teaches courses on eighteenth-century and Romantic literature at Coe. Other interests include women writers, the history of the novel, book history, and (increasingly) environmental literature. Her book, Sentimental Memorials: Women and the Novel in Literary History, was published by Stanford University Press in 2015, and her essays have appeared in SEL, ELH, and Modern Philology. Her current research, which grows out of her interest in the intertwined histories of books and affect, investigates how books mediated an intensifying love of nature in the later eighteenth century.


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Stephanie Tsank

B.A., University of California, San Diego
M.A., CUNY Graduate Center
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Email: stsank@coe.edu

Stephanie Tsank teaches late 19th- and 20th-century American literature and food studies. Her research focuses on how writers use food to depict immigrant characters in works of literary realism. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in American Studies, the Willa Cather Review, and Southern Literary Journal. She is also currently the food editor at Entropy Magazine.


Nick Twemlow

Nick Twemlow

Assistant Professor

B.G.S., University of Kansas
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa Writers' Workshop
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Film & Video Production

Phone: 319.399.8695
Email: ntwemlow@coe.edu

Professor Twemlow teaches creative writing and film. His first collection of poems, Palm Trees (Green Lantern Press, 2012), won the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His poems have been published in A Public Space, Best American Non-required Reading, Boston Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. His film and video works have played Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, Athens, and many other film festivals. He is the recipient of a Princess Grace Honorarium in Filmmaking. He is a senior editor for The Iowa Review and co-edits Canarium Books.


Emeritus and Retired Faculty

Charles Aukema

Professor of English, Emeritus

A.B., Calvin College
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa Writers' Workshop

Email: caukema@coe.edu

In addition to teaching creative writing, Professor Aukema taught computer applications in writing. These applications included writing hypertext fiction. He is the founder of The Coe Review, the college's nationally known literary magazine.

 

Robert D. Drexler

Whipple Professor of English, Emeritus

B.A., Amherst College
M.A., University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Chicago

Email: rdrexler@coe.edu

Author of two poetry chapbooks, Dr. Drexler was the director of the ACM Japan studies Program, director of the India Studies Program at Puna, and a Fulbright Lecturer at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. His primary areas of focus are Early Modern British, Medieval English, 20th Century British, Irish and Asian Literature.

 

Terry Heller

Howard Hall Professor of English, Emeritus

A.B., North Central College 
A.M., Ph.D., University of Chicago

Dr. Heller is author of The Delights of Terror and The Turn of the Screw: Bewildered Vision, and editor of Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Fiction. He has written reference articles, short fiction, and literary journal essays. He is the manager of the on-line archive, the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project.

 

Gordon Mennenga

Professor of English

B.A., University of Northern Iowa 
M.F.A., University of Iowa, Iowa Writers' Workshop

Email: gmenneng@coe.edu

Professor Mennenga is a fiction writer whose short story, "Peepers" won a Nelson Algren Award. He has written monologues for Garrison Keilor and a film based on a monologue was released in 1999. Professor Mennenga teaches film and creative writing and is the academic advisor for Coe's nationally circulated magazine, the Coe Review. His academic interests include hip hop music and popular culture.

 

Ann Struthers

National Fellowship Advisor (retired)

B.A., Morningside College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Iowa

Email: astruthe@coe.edu

Dr. Struthers is the author of two chapbooks and two collections of poetry. She has published numerous book reviews, articles in literature reference books, academic essays and short fiction and was Writer in Residence at Coe for many years. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Syria and in Sri Lanka, and was the faculty advisor for students and faculty who apply for Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman, Rhodes and Marshall Fellowships.