Allison Wilkins, MFA

Assistant Professor of English, Thornton Chair

As a little girl, I used to force my younger brother and cousin to play school with me. Sometimes that involved duct tape. In high school, I worked for a vet. When I began my undergraduate studies, I chose biology because I wanted to teach orcas at SeaWorld. Laugh all you like, I had always felt a particular pull to the sciences. Then, I took an Intro to Poetry creative writing class at UNCW. It changed my life. Yes, including that clichéd moment full of light and brightness. By the end of my sophomore year, I was a creative writing major with emphasis in English and women's studies.

I am a writer, who chooses to teach because I love what I do. But I have also worked as a copywriter for a large travel corporation (which enabled me to take many exciting tours while getting paid), and as an editing and marketing intern for a small press (which helped me see the behind the scenes in the book publishing world).


Prior to Lynchburg College, I taught at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (2003-06) and Miller Motte Technical College (2007-08). While earning my MFA, I lived briefly in Torino, Italy, where I studied Italian at the Università di Torino. Also, I have visited Sweden, France, England, Greece, Vietnam, and Thailand.


  • MFA - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • BFA - University of North Carolina, Wilmington (minors: Women's Studies and English)

Recent Publications

Chapter titled ""The domesticated wilderness": Patriarchal Oppression in The Bell Jar" in Critical Insights: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath edited by Janet McCann (Salem Press). The book is due out Sept 15, 2011.


My poetry has been published in several literary magazines and online journals including STILL, Broken Bridge Review, The Georgetown Review (forthcoming), Tiger's Eye, The Prose Poem Project, hotmetalpress, The Adirondack Review, Platte Valley Review, Word Riot, and others. I also have poems in the anthology Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse (May 2009).

  • Handful of Dust"Girl Who Hides Cocaine in the Bathroom"February 2011
  • OVS Magazine: "Girl Who Drinks Terror for Breakfast", March 2011
  • Broad River Review:  "Immunology", June 2011
  • Word Riot: "Girl Who Asks the Scarecrow Twenty Questions", August 2011
  • Mason's Road"Girl Who Efficiently Collects Light",  September 2011
  • The Adirondack Review"Girl Who Tells Stories to Dogs" and "Summer of the Ticks", September 2011 
  • Platte Valley Review: "Girl Who Collects Crows on the Eve of 30", forthcoming


  • "through the beautiful red": The Use of the Color Red as the Triple-Goddess in Sylvia Plath's Ariel, Plath Profiles: Volume 3 Summer 2010
  • "Sharing Secrets: A PostSecret Exercise on Character Development," The Best of AWP The Pedagogy Papers 2010
  • "The domesticated wilderness": Patriarchal Oppression in Critical Insights: Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.Editor: Janet McCann, Texas A&M University (September 2011) ISBN: 978-1-58765-836-5

Honors and Awards

  • Honorable Mention in the Las Vegas Poets Prize (2005)
  • Colrain Conference (2008)
  • Third Place in Diversion Press's Poetry Contest (2008)
  • Semi-Finalist in Palettes and Quilles Poetry Contest (2010)
  • Finalist in Longleaf Press Chapbook Contest (2011)
  • MU Writing Workshops in Greece (2011)

Professional/Research Interests

Poetry, Sylvia Plath, Italian translation, translation in general, religion, lyric essays, memoir, short fiction, writing that blends genres, ecocriticism, women's literature, food politics, nature writing, books about/with dogs, Greece

Information on Courses Taught

  • HONRS 102 - Honors Composition
  • ENGL 111 & 112 - Composition
  • ENGL 201 - Literature and Culture
  • ENGL 205 - Introduction to Creative Writing
  • ENGL 203 - Expository Writing
  • ENGL 220 - Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 209 - Nature Writing
  • ENGL 365 - Modern Poetry
  • ENGL 349 - Poetry Workshop
  • ENGL 420 - Senior Capstone Course
  • ENGL 447 - Advanced Poetry Workshop

    Special Topics: Vietnamese Poetry in Translation Poetry Workshop, Travel writing in London and Australia, Writing and several writing Independent Studies

Editorial Work

  • James Dickey Review, Poetry, Associate Editor (2010-present)
  • Studies in Popular Culture, Advisory Editor (2010-2011)

Professional Associations

  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)
  • Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)

Personal Information

Likes: writing, reading, rock climbing, traveling, yoga, running, long walks with my two dogs (Monkey and Luna), baking, broccoli, train traveling, watching soccer & football, flip flops, organic gardening, snow

Allison Wilkins
Carnegie 224