Faculty Bios


Robin Becker, the Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State, has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Bunting Institute at Harvard. Her published collections in the Pitt Poetry Series include All-American Girl, The Horse Fair, and Domain of Perfect Affection. Becker serves as Contributing and Poetry Editor for the Women’s Review of Books where her column “Field Notes” appears regularly. During the 2010-2011 academic year, Becker served as the Penn State Laureate. The University of Pittsburgh Press Poetry Series published Robin Becker’s most recent collection of poems, Tiger Heron, in  2014.

William J. Cobb is a novelist, essayist, and short fiction writer whose work has been published in The New Yorker, The Mississippi Review, The Antioch Review, and many other journals. He’s the author of a book of stories, The White Tattoo (2002), and three novels—The Fire Eaters (1994), Goodnight, Texas (2006), and most recently, The Bird Saviors (2012). He has won numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and has reviewed books for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, and The New York Times. He lives in Pennsylvania and Colorado and teaches fiction writing.

Charlotte Holmes‘s short stories and essays have appeared in The Antioch Review, New Letters, The New Yorker, The Sun, and many other journals, and her poems in American Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Radar Poetry, and other venues.  A new story collection, The Grass Labyrinth, is forthcoming in 2016. Her collection, Gifts and Other Stories, was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Prize and the Southern Review Prize.  Her stories have been cited for excellence in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, and the O. Henry Prize Stories, and she is a five-time Pushcart nominee.  A former Stegner fellow, Holmes is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the D.H. Lawrence Award at UNM and two Pennsylvania Council of the Arts awards.  She has also received numerous Penn State awards, including the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Stephanie Pavlouck Shields Award for Mentoring Women Students, the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Adviser Award, and the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award.

Julia Spicher Kasdorf has published three collections in the Pitt Poetry Series, most recently, Poetry in America.  With Michael Tyrell, she co-edited the anthology, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn, published by NYU Press in 2007.  She received a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship, and her poems have been widely anthologized.  She has also published a collection of personal essays, a biography, and worked on new editions of two local color novels set in this region.  She occasionally teaches in summer conferences and low-residency MFA programs, and her work in the classroom at Penn State has been awarded the Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Graduate Teaching Award, and the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Award.

Elizabeth Kadetsky is author of a memoir (First There Is a Mountain, Little Brown), a story collection (The Poison that Purifies You, C&R Press) and a novella (On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World, Nouvella Books). Her fiction has been included in the Pushcart Prizes, Best New American Voices, and the Best American Short Stories notable citations, and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Antioch Review, and elsewhere. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Penn State, and can be found at www.elizabethkadetsky.com.

Toby Thompson is the author of five books, including Metroliner, Positively Main Street: Bob Dylan’s Minnesota, Saloon and The ’60s Report. He has written for publications as diverse as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Gray’s Sporting Journal, GQ, Men’s Journal, Sports Afield, Playboy, Outside, Big Sky Journal, Western Art & Architecture, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.  He teaches creative nonfiction at Penn State University and lives in Livingston, Montana, and Cabin John, Maryland.


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