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Sweetland's Writer to Writer series lets you hear directly from University of Michigan professors about their challenges, processes, and expectations as writers and also as readers of student writing. Each semester, Writer to Writer pairs one esteemed University professor with a Sweetland faculty member for a conversation about writing.

Writer to Writer sessions take place at the Literati bookstore and are broadcast live on WCBN radio. These conversations offer students a rare glimpse into the writing that professors do outside the classroom. You can hear instructors from various disciplines describe how they handle the same challenges student writers face, from finding a thesis to managing deadlines. Professors will also discuss what they want from student writers in their courses, and will take questions put forth by students and by other members of the University community. If there's anything you've ever wanted to ask a professor about writing, Writer to Writer gives you the chance.

Petra Kuppers

Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a community performance artist and a disability culture activist. She uses social somatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. Petra is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan.

Her artistry is grounded in the twin experiences of pain and joy. She has lived with chronic pain all her life, but her love of movement expresses itself in multiple ways: pushing against established definitions of what dance can be, and realigning connections between movement and writing. Her experimentation in creative somatics have allowed her to create community projects of embodied dreaming.

Her third performance poetry collection, Gut Botany (Wayne State University Press, 2020), won the 2022 Creative Book Award by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Her fourth collection, Diver Beneath the Street – true crime meets ecopoetry at the level of the soil – appears with Wayne State University Press in February 2024. Kuppers also writes academic books. Her latest, Eco Soma: Joy and Pain in Speculative Performance Encounters (University of Minnesota Press, 2022, open access), has received honorable mentions by the National Dance Educators' Organization’s Ruth Murray Book Award, the British Theatre and Performance Research Association’s’ David Bradby Monograph Award, and was shortlisted for the de la Torre Bueno Prize by the Dance Studies Association.

Petra was a 2022/2023 Dance/USA Fellow and is a 2023/24 Guggenheim Fellow.

She is Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with her wife, poet and dancer Stephanie Heit.

Public School Poetry

Public School Poetry was created by a group of poets educated through the public school system. We hope this online journal embodies the strangeness of public school and our colliding desires to learn, break rules, see what others are doing, and create new and better spaces. Despite the name, we are not a student-specific publication; our contributors come from all backgrounds and life stages. This journal is a leap of faith and an ongoing experiment. Each contributor writes “a five-paragraph essay” on another contributor’s poems that we randomly and anonymously assign. Poems and essays appear together in each issue.

Megan Levad learned just about everything she knows about poetry and literature in public schools in Iowa and Michigan, and now teaches Boise State University's online learners from her home outside Yosemite National Park.

Scott Beal is a product of public schools in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan, and currently directs the Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts program at the University of Michigan

Julie Babcock is a poet and a fiction writer who sprang from public school systems in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and now teaches at University of Michigan.

Ellen Stone comes from a family of public-school teachers in Pennsylvania and spent her career teaching public school before retiring after 20+ years at Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

David Ward has been a public school student at Sedona Red Rock High School, Arizona State University, and the University of Michigan, where he now teaches writing. 

Ashley Lucas & Phil Christman

Ashley Lucas teaches theatre at the University of Michigan, where she also serves at the Director of the Latina/o Studies Program and the Former Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project. Her book Prison Theatre and the Global Crisis of Incarceration describes the ways that incarcerated theatre makers use performance to change their lives. Phil Christman is a Lecturer II in English at University of Michigan and the author of Midwest Futures and How to Be Normal: Essays.

Jennifer Proctor

Jennifer Proctor is an Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and co-founder and director of the inclusive teaching initiative EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media). She is a filmmaker and media artist whose internationally recognized, award-winning found footage work examines the history of experimental film, Hollywood tropes, and the representation of women in cinema. Her recent work, in particular, seeks to blur boundaries between avant-garde film practices and the scholarly video essay. Her 2018 film "Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can't Fix," which examines the bathtub as a feminized domestic space, won the Cutters Archival Film Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Top Grit at the Indie Grits Film Festival, and Best Experimental Film at the St. Francis College Women's Film Festival, in addition to screening at more than forty film festivals around the world. Her recent video, "Am I Pretty?" appropriates the voices of tween girls from YouTube videos to explore the development of self-image and self-esteem in the modern era. In addition to screening at film festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, "Am I Pretty?" appears in a special issue on audiography in [in]Transition: The Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies.

Ellen Muehlberger

Ellen Muehlberger is Associate Professor of Christianity in late antiquity in the departments of Middle East Studies and History at the University of Michigan, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on ancient history, contemporary religious traditions, scholarly methods, and Coptic and Syriac language. Muehlberger has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. She edited Practice, a 2017 collection of newly-translated primary sources about early Christian education, asceticism, and reading for the series Cambridge Editions of Early Christian Writings. Her new book is Moment of Reckoning: Imagined Death and Its Consequences in Late Ancient Christianity (Oxford).

Heather Ann Thompson

Heather Ann Thompson is a historian at the University of Michigan in the Department of Afro-American and African Studies, the Department of History, and the Residential College. She is the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (2016). Blood in the Water received six additional book awards and landed on over 20 best of 2016 book lists including that of the New York Times.

Thompson is also a public intellectual who writes regularly on the history of policing, mass incarceration and the current criminal justice system for The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and many other national publications. This year, Thompson was awarded a Bearing Witness Writing Fellowship from the Art for Justice fund of the Ford Foundation. Her next book is on the MOVE bombing of 1985.

Susan Scott Parrish

Susan Scott Parrish is a Professor in the English Department and the Program in the Environment at UM. Her research addresses the interrelated issues of the environment, race and knowledge-making in the Atlantic world from the seventeenth century up through the present, with a particular emphasis on southern and Caribbean plantation zones. Her new book, The Flood Year 1927: A Cultural History, examines how the most devastating, and publicly absorbing, US flood of the twentieth century took on meaning as it moved across media platforms, across sectional divides and across the color line. Her first book, American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World, is a study of how people in England and in British-controlled America conceived of—and made knowledge about—American nature within Atlantic scientific networks. This book won both Phi Beta Kappa’s Emerson Award and the Jamestown Prize.


Dr. Howard Markel

Acclaimed medical historian Dr. Howard Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, public health management and policy, history, and English literature and language. His work reaches a wide range of audiences and has had a broad impact on national and international health policy and on the public’s understanding of medicine. Dr. Markel is the author, co-author, or co-editor of ten books, including the award-winning Quarantine! and the national bestseller An Anatomy of Addiction. In Fall, 2018, Pantheon/Random House will publish his new book, Corn Flakes, about Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who invented the concept of “wellness,” and his brother, cereal magnate Will Kellogg.

Clare Croft

Clare Croft is a dance theorist, historian, and sometimes dramaturg. Her most recent project, Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings, will be published as anthology and website by Oxford University Press in March 2017. She is also the author of Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford, 2015), which received the Congress on Research in Dance’s 2017 Outstanding Publication Prize. She has written for a wide range of venues, including The Washington Post and Austin American-Statesman; academic journals including Theatre Journal and QED: A Journal in Queer Worldmaking (forthcoming); and various performance venues, including Fusebox Festival and the TBA Festival. She is Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Michigan.

Philip Deloria

Philip Deloria is the Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan, where he has appointments in the Departments of History and American Culture and the Programs in Environment and Native American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1994, and came to Michigan in 2001, following six years at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Professor Deloria’s research focuses on the social, cultural and political histories of the relations between American Indians and the United States. His prizewinning 1998 book Playing Indian, traced “Indian play” from the Boston Tea Party to the New Age movement, while his 2004 book Indians in Unexpected Places, examined the ideologies surrounding Indian people in the early twentieth century and the ways Native Americans challenged them through sports, travel, automobility, and film and musical performance. He is in the process of completing American Studies: A User's Guide, which surveys methods of interpretation and writing, and Toward an American Indian Abstract, an extended piece of art criticism.

Robin Queen

Robin Queen is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Linguistics, Germanic Languages and Literatures, and English Language and Literature and Chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan. She is a sociolinguist with strong interests in the relationship of language variation and social cognition. She has done research on intonation and prosody; contact-related language change; language, gender, and sexuality; human-canine interaction involving language; and language variation in the mass media. Her most recent book, Vox Popular: The Surprising Life of Language in the Media (2015), is aimed at providing an informed lay audience a window into the many ways that language variation circulates in fictional television and film. She was the co-editor (with Anne Curzan) of the Journal of English Linguistics from 2005-2011.

Phoebe Gloeckner

Phoebe Gloeckner is Associate Professor in the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, where she teaches courses in comic arts and interactive books. Her writing, drawing and illustration takes many shapes and forms, including A Child's Life and the extraordinary The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002), which was recently adapted by Marielle Heller into a feature film that premiered at Sundance in January. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her ongoing work concerning the family of a murdered teenager living in Ciudad Juárez, a project that redefines boundaries not only between genres and mediums, but between author, reader and subject.

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke is the Allan Seager Collegiate Professor of English at the University of Michigan, where she has won a number of awards for her teaching, including the Henry Russel Award, 1923 Memorial Teaching Award, and a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. She has published nine collections of poetry and nine novels. Several of her novels have been made into feature length films--including THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES, starring Uma Thurman, and WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, starring Shailene Woodley. Her fiction has been translated into many languages, and her last four novels have been international best-sellers. For her eighth book of poetry she received the National Book Critics Circle Award. The collection was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Maria Cotera

Maria Cotera is an Associate Professor of American Culture, Latina/o Studies, and Women’s Studies. Her work focuses on US/Third-World feminist theory, Latina feminism, and the intellectual genealogies of women of color. Her book Native Speakers: Ella Cara Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovila Gonzalez Mireles and the Poetics of Culture won the NWSA Gloria Anzaldua Prize. Professor Cotera is currently working on a book titled Chicana por mi Raza: The Hidden History of Chicanas in the Second Wave.