November Faculty of the Month: Creative Writing

Shayla Lawson


Shayla Lawson ( is the author of A Speed Education in Human Being (Sawyer House Press, 2013) and served as Nonfiction Editor for Indiana Review. Her poems have appeared in: MiPOesias, Anti-, inter|rupture, PLUCK!, and Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books. She was the inaugural winner of Sou’Wester’s Dr. Fred Robbins Memorial Award for Emerging Writers in poetry. Her work is supported by fellowships from the Giorgio Cini Foundation of Venice, Italy and the Toyota Alumni Fund hosted by the Kentucky Center. She is Creative Writing Chair for Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and a member of The Affrilachian Poets.

 Dan Bernitt

Bernitt, Dan

Photo by Arnoldo Hurtado

Dan Bernitt is an American author, playwright, and performer. His solo performances include Yelling at Bananas in Whole Foods; Phi Alpha Gamma; and Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface!; among others. His work has been featured in venues across the United States, as well as in Ireland and Italy. A recipient of the Robert Chesley Award for Lesbian and Gay Playwriting, both his books, Dose: Plays & Monologues and Phi Alpha Gamma, were named finalists for the Lambda Literary Award.

He holds an MFA in Playwriting from The New School, where he studied with Jon Robin Baitz and Christopher Shinn. As a guest artist, he has performed and taught workshops at numerous colleges and universities in the United States. He serves on the faculty of the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts.

He lives in New York City.


Mitchell L.H. Douglas


Mitchell L. H. Douglas is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. His second poetry collection, \blak\ \al-fə bet\ , winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Award, was published in 2013 by Persea Books. His debut collection, Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem (2009 Red Hen Press), was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry category and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in 2010. A native of Louisville, Kentucky’s West End, Douglas is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

\blak\ \al-fə bet\: poems 

Available from Persea Books

Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem

Available from Red Hen Press


CW Room

Creative Writing in studio, Summer 2015.

Photo by Michael Fitzer.